5 suspected pirates formally charged
Seychelles police arrest 5 suspected pirates transferred by the Siroco on 30th January 2014 (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Five Somali suspected pirates have been formally charged before the Seychelles Supreme Court for committing acts of piracy, Seychelles police has confirmed in a statement issued this afternoon.
"The five men were charged on February 27. They appeared before the Supreme Court again today and have been remanded further until March 18 when they will reappear before the court," said Seychelles police spokesperson Jean Toussaint.
Aged 16 to 24 they are suspected to have attacked an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden on January 17.
French naval ship Siroco, part of the EU’s Atalanta operation, handed over the suspected pirates to the Seychelles authorities on January 30 after they were arrested on the high seas.
There are now 23 suspected pirates awaiting trial in Seychelles ‘Montagne Posee’ prison among a population of 61 Somalis. The remaining 38 have already been sentenced.
Out of 147 pirates brought to Seychelles for trial since 2009, 124 have been convicted, with 86 later repatriated to Somalia to serve their prison sentence.