, MOMBASA, Feb 18 – Kenya accepted on Saturday to try four suspected pirates from neighbouring war-torn Somalia captured by a Danish warship in the Indian Ocean, officials said.
The four Somalis, who were taken aboard the Danish naval vessel patrolling the pirate-infested waters off the coast of the anarchic Horn of African nation on January 7, arrived by airplane in Kenya’s port city Mombasa.
“We are happy the Kenyan government has agreed to try the suspected pirates on their soil,” Danish foreign ministry official Tomas Konigsfeldt said, after the suspects were handed over to Kenyan police.
Denmark had previously sought to hand the men to the Seychelles for prosecution under an agreement that allows regional countries to try suspected pirates, but the Indian Ocean island turned down the request.
“We call upon other countries which signed the agreement to allow suspected pirates tried on their land too,” said Konigsfeldt.
Kenya has already tried and convicted several Somali pirates. The four are expected to appear in court in Mombasa on Monday.
Danish warships are patrolling the seas off Somalia as part of an international anti-piracy force to protect commercial shipping.
Two decades of lawlessness have carved up Somalia into mini-fiefdoms ruled by gunmen and militia, encouraging rampant piracy.