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Pirates get seven years for hijacking Danish ship

23 January 2014, 16:49 Ken Wekesa

Mombasa - A Mombasa law court has sentenced 24 men to seven years imprisonment after they were found guilty of three counts of piracy.

On the first count, it was alleged that on October 20 2010 upon the high seas of the Indian Ocean within the gulf of Oman jointly armed with offensive weapons namely an Ak47 rifle FPGS, Abdi Abdullah Ali alias Sissow and 23 others attacked an F/V ARIYA and at the same time used force against the crew.

The accused faced a second count of hijacking a ship on October  20, 2010 at the seas of the gulf of Oman. They also faced a third count of piracy in contrary to section 369.

In his ruling, senior magistrate Richard Odenyo said, "After considering all the evidence, I am satisfied that the prosecution has not proved count 1 and 2 beyond reasonable doubt. I however found that the prosecution has established its case beyond reasonable doubt on count 3 of piracy contrary to section 369 (1)b as read with section 371 of the merchant shipping Act of 2010 against all the accused."

However, the defense lawyer Gerald Magolo had asked the court to show some leniency to the accused on grounds that they had already served four years in prison since their arrest in 2010 and that the accused were of a young age.

“The accused have been in custody since 2010. They have undergone inconsiderable pain while in custody.  Even one of them was nicknamed ‘toto’ because of his age,” said Magolo.

He said that during the course of the case hearing, the accused had been suffering from various aliments especially TB and thus needs good medical care.

Magolo added that during the arrest of the accused persons, four of them lost their lives and others left with bullet injuries.

“Ten of the accused have bullets stuck in their bodies and one cannot walk after he lost a limb from the shootings during the arrest. I commend the court for ordering the bullets to be removed but the doctor's report indicated that it was a dangerous move,” said  Magolo.

“After considering your mitigation, I sentence the accused to seven years imprisonment,” said Odeny.

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