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May 23, 2010

Netherlands to hold first European Somali piracy trial

Radio Netherlands International reports that the first European trial of Somali pirate suspects is set to open Tuesday in Rotterdam.

Five men face prison terms of from 9 to 12 years for allegedly attempting to hijack a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden.

The suspects, aged 25 to 45, were arrested on January 2 last year after their boat was intercepted by a Danish frigate as they were prepaing to board the Netherlands Antilles-flagged Samanyolu.

The Netherlands subsequently issued European arrest warrants they were flown from Bahrain to the Netherlands.

A defense lawyer has said the five men will challenge the jurisdiction of Dutch courts in the case, arguing that the cargo vessel was registered in the Netherlands Antilles, which has its own justice system.

The trial is expected to last five days and judgment is set to be handed down on June 16, reports Netherlands Radio.


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