Verdict for the fourth EUNAVFOR caseOctober 26, 2010 - 13:16
EU NAVFOR welcomes the fourth judgment, which was delivered on 22 September, in a Kenyan prosecution in connection with the interdiction of a pirate group by an EU NAVFOR warship.
Seven Somali men were accused of acts of piracy. Senior Resident Magistrate (SRM), James Ombura, delivered the verdict at the Mombasa Law Courts on 22 September, sentencing the seven Somali men accused to prison sentences of four years and a half.
The judgment relates to the attack on the Merchant Vessel NEPHELI on 06 May 2009. On that day, the Spanish tanker SPS MARQUES DE LA ENSENADA, operating under EU NAVFOR and close from the scene of attack, sent her helicopter to investigate and intercepted the seven suspected pirates.
To date, EU NAVFOR has transferred 92 individuals to the Kenya authorities for prosecution in the Kenyan national courts. The Kenya authorities have already sentenced 32 of these individuals from 4.5 up to 5 years imprisonment each.
Prosecutions are conducted by Kenyan prosecutors under Kenyan Law before a single magistrate. EU NAVFOR officers work closely with Kenyan prosecutors and the local police with regard to the preparation of the prosecution case.
The maximum sentence upon conviction for piracy offences in Kenya is life imprisonment; under Kenyan Law – and indeed as a pre-condition for suspected pirates being transferred by EU NAVFOR – capital punishment is not available. In all cases, the accused persons have had the benefit of legal representation.
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