A Kenyan court sentenced nine Somali pirates to five-year jail terms Tuesday (July 30th) for attempting to hijack a German cargo ship off the coast of Somalia in 2009, Kenya’s Capital FM reported.
“The sole aim of suspects carrying weapons at the high seas was to terrorize the crew, so I hereby find them guilty as charged and commit them accordingly,” said Mombasa Chief Magistrate Stephen Riech. They were given 14 days to appeal the judgement.
A prosecution witness said the nine defendants were heavily armed during the attempted hijacking with three AK-47s, a Tokarev pistol, rocket propelled grenades and other weapons.
Nonetheless, the defendants said they were fishing and have denied the charges against them.
A Mombasa court ruled in 2010 that Kenya did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. The state appealed, resulting in the current conviction.