Friday, May 08, 2009

If crimes, Japan will fly Somali pirates to Tokyo.

The presence of dozens of international warships off
the Somali coast and in the Gulf of Aden is not
deterring Somali pirates, whose attacks appear to be
getting bolder and more frequent. Again a new
hostage, the 2,575-tonne Dutch ship "Marathon" was
just captured in the Gulf of Aden.

Somali & Gulf of Aden pirates to stand trials in Japan via
Djibouti, medias write. To be confirmed.

Quotes of the Nikkei

Tokyo government, in its measures to be taken to deal
with pirates in waters off the eastern African coast
of Somalia, has decided to move pirates to Japan after
detaining them in such serious cases as their killing
Japanese nationals and there to enter criminal
procedures. The government presumes that detaining
armed pirates could bring about a state of war, so it
will take careful action. However, the government
will prioritize judicial procedures in Japan for
crimes that mar the rights and interests of Japanese

The government anticipates the case in which a
Japanese national is either injured or killed by
pirates in their attacks on a commercial ship. When a
Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer arrives there,
and if Japan Coast Guard rangers onboard the MSDF
destroyer can capture the pirates, the perpetrators
will be airlifted to Djibouti Airport in the eastern
part of Africa, using a patrol helicopter mounted on
the destroyer. They will be flown to Japan on a
commercial airliner.

The government entered into a status of forces
agreement with Djibouti on April 3, stipulating the
legal status of Self-Defense Forces personnel and
others. At the time, the government obtained
Djibouti’s permission to use seaports and airports for
MSDF destroyers and P-3C patrol aircraft and also
obtained its concurrence on flying pirates to Japan
via that country.

Amateur pirates?

"Somali pirates were arrested when they accidentally
attacked a French warship, the frigate Le Nivose,
after mistaking it for a merchant vessel, on Sunday.

The pirates were traveling in three boats, two small
skiffs and a nine metre ‘mother ship’. The gang was
armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, a grenade
launcher and five grenades. They pursued the French
naval vessel after failing to recognise it as such
after the captain of the frigate, Lieutenant Commander
Jean-Marc le Quilliec, decided to head towards the sun
to camouflage the ship’s identity.

As the pirates approached they were astonished to see
the ‘merchant vessel’ launch an attack helicopter and
two assault dinghies full of highly trained and
heavily armed French commandos. The pirates
immediately surrendered after the helicopter fired a
volley of warning shots.

The 11 pirates, some of whom are believed to be very
young, were arrested, searched and taken aboard the
Nivose, a French spokesman said. It is unclear what
is going to happen to them.

The Nivose is part of the European Union anti-piracy
mission Atalanta. It has had mixed results thus far
due to the pirates venturing further and further into
the Indian Ocean to launch their attacks on merchant
vessels and leisure craft. The biggest scalp the
Somali pirates have taken thus far is the VLCC MV
Siruis Star belonging to a subsidiary of the Saudi
Arabian state-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco. The
ship was hijacked in November 2008 and eventually
released in January after a ransom, believed to be in
the region of US$3 million was paid. "
(Medias quotes)

The three pirate boats captured by the French Frigate
Le Nivose.

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