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April 19, 2009

Candian frigate catches pirates, then releases them

On Saturday, a Dutch frigate put a bunch of Somali pirates back in their skiff and let them go (see EARLIER STORY) after driving them off a dhow they were using as a mother ship.

Today, it was a Canadian ship that practiced the "catch and release" that is apparently the policy should a NATO ship apprehend pirate suspects.

HMCS Winnipeg broke off from escorting a UN food aid shipment to thwart an attack on the Frontline tanker Front Ardenne. It subsequently caught up with a skiff carrying seven pirate suspects. After firing warning shots, Canadian sailors boarded the skiff where they recovered an RPG round.

But after the pirates had been disarmed and briefly detained, they were released (read a GLOBE & MAIL report HERE).

As NATO is an alliance, not a nation, there's no such thing as NATO law. When NATO ships detain pirate suspects, the law that applies is the national law of the NATO ship involved. It seems that in the case of Canada, that precludes bringing the pirates to justice unless a Canadian ship is attacked.


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