Kenya to try more pirates

May 9, 2009 12:00 am

, MOMBASA, May 9 – The French navy on Friday handed over 11 suspected Somali pirates to Kenya in the second such transfer by the forces in weeks, police said.

"We have 11 suspected pirates handed to us this morning by the French navy," Mombasa port police chief Ayub Gitonga told AFP.

The Somalis were brought to the port city of Mombasa by the Nivose, a French frigate serving in the European Union’s anti-piracy force off the coast of Somalia.

The group, captured last weekend onboard two skiffs and a "mother-ship" more than 500 nautical miles off the Kenyan coast, are expected to be charged with piracy either later Friday or Monday, said Gitonga.

A gang of 11 others were handed over on April 22 have already been charged with piracy.

Most of those arrested have been handed over to Kenya or the northern Somali breakaway state of Puntland — a major piracy hub — but 15 who were involved in attacks on French vessels are awaiting trial in France.

An unclear legal framework has led to confusion in the handling of captured pirate suspects. Kenya is the region’s only state to have agreements with most major naval powers facilitating their arrest and transfer.


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