Wednesday, July 31, 2013



Suspected Somali pirates stand in the dock inside a courtroom in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa March 11, 2009. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga  The Faces of pirates photo and story by Rueters.

(Reuters) - A Kenyan court in the coastal city of Mombasa sentenced nine Somalis on Tuesday to five years in prison each for attempting to hijack the German merchant vessel MV Courier in the Gulf of Aden in March 2009. Click on link for full story:

EDITORS NOTE: The pirates convicted in this story were Somalis captured by international naval forces and tried in Kenya. Somalia as a failed state is considered an incompetent jurisdiction. The World is fortunate that Kenya with a respected court system has been willing to handle so many of these cases. These men were the traditional assailing bandit type pirates we wrote about recently. They forced their way aboard the ship with fire arms, put the entire crew in fear of their lives and did it strictly for personal gain. However they in fact did not kill anyone. The five year sentence combined with their protracted pretrial confinement is in line with most western nation first offender sentencing guidelines for armed robbery. The appropriate reservation of maximum sentencing for piracy to those cases involveing murder (death or life in prison depending on jurisdiction) makes sense in providing an incentive to pirates to avoid harming their captives. Kenya having accepted jurisdiction for this international crime now incurs not only the costs of trial but also incarceration. The world owes Kenya a debt for its extraordinary role in combating piracy through offering navies an alternative to catch and release. However we feel every flag state that directly benefits by this convenience should be obligated to pay court costs and incarceration costs. So in this case involving a German ship, Germany should reimburse Kenya and assume the responsibility of attempting to obtain restitution from the captives (good luck on that one). Kenya has earned a place of dignity in the community of nations. If no one else says it.....Thank you Kenya.

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