Following the April opening of a modern court complex in Seychelles that has special jurisdiction to handle piracy and maritime crime cases, the court started to hear its first case this week.
This relates to the trial of 5 suspected Somali pirates who were arrested and brought to Seychelles by French naval ship, ‘Siroco’, in January last year.
Seychellois Judge Gustave Dodin is presiding this first case to appear before the new court.
Funding for this facility was obtained through a collaboration effort between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Trust Fund on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
The five suspected pirates on trial stand accused of attacking an oil tanker on January 17, 2014 in the Gulf of Aden.
They were arrested the next day by French naval ship FS Siroco, which is part of the EUNAVFOR Atalanta operation, in collaboration with a Japanese air force plane and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF/CTF 151).
The French and Japanese forces freed the 11 crew members of an Indian dhow that was believed to have been used by the 5 suspected pirates as a mother-ship in the attack on the oil tanker.