September 25, 2008
Denmark releases suspected pirates
The Danish Navy has released ten suspected Somali pirates.
The ten were taken prisoner on September 17 when the Danish warship Absalon, currently leading Combined Task Force 150, intercepted two suspected pirate vessels in the Gulf of Aden.
The vessels were boarded and the occupants were found in possession of weapons, communications equipment and ladders that could be used in the commission of acts of piracy.
The ten suspects were photographed and fingerprinted, but then Absalon found there was no one who would take them.
It did not prove possible to transfer the detainee to countries in the region or to other nations who are participating in Task Force 150," says a Danish Navy statement. Moreover, the Danish authorities were of the opinion that, under the specific circumstances, the ten could not be prosecuted in Denmark.
After six days on board the Absalon, the suspects were put ashore on a Somali beach during the night and set free. All 10 pirates were in good health and were landed in the area they are believed to have come from.
"It is an illusion to think that these ten would be brought to trial by the Somali authorities," Commander Dan B. Termansen of Danish Fleet Headquarters told the newspaper Politiken.
The decision to release the alleged pirates came following discussions Tuesday between Denmark's foreign and defence ministries on exactly what should happen to the men, says Politiken.