Politics and policy
Somali pirates get 20-year jail term
Posted Wednesday, August 8 2012 at 13:40
Seven Somalis were Wednesday sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after they were found guilty of attacking a fishing trawler in the high seas.
Mombasa Senior principal magistrate Joyce Gandani said the court took judicial notice that piracy off the Somali coast was hampering international security and trade.
The accused now join dozens of Somali pirates who have been tried and convicted by Kenyan courts and sentenced to serve various jail terms.
Kenya has since 2006 been prosecuting suspected pirates arrested by international naval forces patrolling the high seas off the Somali coast.
The accused said they would appeal the ruling.
The magistrate said she had considered that the suspects had been in remand for four years in arriving at the sentence.
Ms Gandani said the accused defence that they were fisherman lacked merit because there was no fishing gear or fish found inside their skiffs.
“The prosecution proved the evidence beyond any reasonable doubt,” said Ms Gandani.
State counsel Catherine Mwaniki had sought life imprisonment while the defence wanted them discharged.
The convicts were found to have attacked the trawler using firearms, knives and a grappling hook on October 27, 2009.