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Somali pirates extradited to Germany

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Somali pirates extradited to Germany
Photo: DPA
16:44 CEST+02:00
The Somali pirates who recently captured a Hamburg freight ship are being extradited to Germany for what is expected to be the first trial of such pirates from the collapsed African nation on German soil.

The 10 men were put on a Dutch military plane on Wednesday in the African country of Djibouti and are bound for The Hague, where they will remain in custody until they are handed over to German justice officials, a spokesman for the Dutch Defence Ministry said.

They were captured by Dutch naval commandos on Easter Monday following a shoot-out aboard container ship The Taipan, which they had seized in waters about 900 kilometres off the Somali coast.

One Dutch marine was injured in the shoot-out. The 15-member crew, who had barricaded themselves into a section of the ship, were unharmed.

Wilhelm Möllers, a spokesman for Hamburg’s state prosecution office, confirmed that Germany was pursuing extradition for what would be the first case against Somali pirates tried in Germany.

A Hamburg court approved an arrest warrant for the pirates at the beginning of this week.

The Taipan belongs to Hamburg-based shipping company Komrowski.

The Dutch navy launched the operation as part of an EU naval mission called Operation Atalanta which protects shipping along the key route off Somalia.

EU Navfor has said that in March it collared 18 pirate gangs, destroyed 22 skiffs and apprehended some 131 pirates for prosecution.

But there are still eight vessels and 157 hostages in the hands of Somali pirates, an official said on March 31.

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