AFP reports that the six Somali suspects currently on trial in Madrid for their attempted hijacking of the ESPS Patino have all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
The six all claimed to be fishing at the time of their arrest by the Spanish Navy. It is alleged that the group attacked the Patino in the early hours of January 12th, 2012, having mistaken the EU NAVFOR flagship for an unprotected merchant ship. Reports state that the Spanish Navy then fought off the gun attack and, during a subsequent helicopter chase, six pirates were captured whilst one was reportedly killed.
AFP report that several Spanish seamen appeared as witnesses in court and that the prosecution had requested jail sentences of 23 years for each defendant.