Jun 08, 2011

Somaliland: Court Sentences Six Captured Pirates to Jail Terms

Somaliland’s judicial system once again demonstrates the validity of ongoing efforts to receive international recognition. The ability to provide a fair judicial sentence endorses Somaliland’s ability to derive stability within the region and lead what have, until now, been ineffective international efforts to deal with pirates in the region.

Below is an article published by Bloomberg:

Six Somali pirates were jailed by a Somaliland court [on 5 June 2011] for capturing an Italian vessel in April 2008 and receiving a $3 million ransom.

The Berbera Regional Court gave five of the pirates eight- year jail terms, while a sixth received a sentence of five years after he confessed to the crime said Osman Ibrahim Direi, head of the court, said yesterday [7 June 2011].  The six men were captured by Somaliland’s coast guard on March 24 near the coastal town of Maydh.

Somaliland, a breakaway enclave in northern Somalia, in March opened a maximum-security prison built with United Nations funding to incarcerate convicted pirates.

An increase in pirate attacks, spurred by a 36-fold jump in ransom payments in five years, has threatened vessels carrying 20 percent of world trade and raised expenses for shippers. Costs linked to piracy may reach $13 billion to $15 billion by 2015 as global trade rebounds and pirates operate over wider areas, according to research firm Geopolicity Inc.