10 alleged Somali pirates go on trial in Germany

November 22, 2010 20:57


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HAMBURG — Germany's first piracy trial in hundreds of years got off to a shaky start Monday, with the court struggling to get even the most basic information from 10 Somali men and youth charged with hijacking a German container ship earlier this year.

The 10 Somalis sat at three rows of tables in the Hamburg state court, some in hooded sweat shirts and oversized pants, which stood in sharp contrast to the pristine black robes of their 20 attorneys sitting with them.

Prosecutors have been unable to determine the ages of three of the suspects. As a result, the trial is being held at a youth court for all suspects.

The Somalis were captured aboard the MV Taipan in the Gulf of Aden on April 5 by Dutch marines. They were extradited from the Netherlands to Germany in June.

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