Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The Republic of Seychelles has convicted eight men of piracy and three others for aiding and abetting piracy. All eleven men each received a ten year sentence in jail. Four of the convicted were under eighteen years of age.
The office of President James Michel states this ruling is in response to a hijack attempt on a Seychelles coast guard ship.
This ruling by Seychelles' Supreme Court in Victoria is the first time the state has convicted Somali pirates.
Seychelles set up a court for the sole purpose of trying Somali pirates earlier this year, in response to hijackings of ships in Seychellois waters.
A Seychellois government statement said that "[t]heir conviction is a historical milestone as it is the first time that a piracy trial is successfully prosecuted in the Seychelles."
Pirates attacked ships more than 200 times in 2009, including 68 hijackings, and made around US$50 million (€38.5 million) in ransoms.
Seychelles and Kenya are the only African countries on the coast of the Indian Ocean with signed agreements with the European Union to prosecute Somali pirates.
== Sources ==
"Seychelles Prosecute Somali Pirates for the First Time" — Voice of America, 26 July 2010
"Somali pirates sentenced to 10 years in Seychelles" — BBC News Online, 26 July 2010