MUMBAI: A special court on Tuesday convicted 15 Somali pirates, nabbed in 2011, and sentenced them to seven years in jail. The accused who have spent six and a half years in jail will be deported to their home country. They have been found guilty on charges of attempt to murder and kidnapping.
This is one among the four cases being conducted by special public prosecutor Ranjeet Sangle. The accused sought leniency and wanted to be deported back to Somali. The verdict against 103 accused in the other cases is likely to be pronounced by next week.
In this case, in January 2011, in a joint operation, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard intercepted a vessel being used by Somali pirates 200 miles off Kochi in the Arabian Sea.
They rescued 20 fishermen hailing from Thailand and Myanmar being held hostage on board the vessel. They also rescued the 15 pirates who jumped into the sea during the operation and took them into custody.
The vessel, named ‘Prantalay’, originally belonged to Thai fishermen. It was hijacked by the Somali pirates in April 2010. They were using it as the mother vessel for piracy since then