Somali pirates jailed by French court for fatal hijacking

April 14, 2016 8:44 am
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A court sketch made on March 29, 2016 shows seven suspected Somali pirates attending their trial in the courthouse in Paris, over the hijacking of a French yacht/AFP
A court sketch made on March 29, 2016 shows seven suspected Somali pirates attending their trial in the courthouse in Paris, over the hijacking of a French yacht/AFP

, PARIS, Apr 14 – Seven Somali pirates were sentenced to between six and 15 years in prison by a French court for the hijacking of a French yacht and killing of its owner in the Gulf of Aden in 2011.

Christian and Evelyne Colombo were on a round-the-world trip when their “Tribal Kat” catamaran was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea.

Overview
  • Christian and Evelyne Colombo were on a round-the-world trip when their "Tribal Kat" catamaran was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea.
  • Christian was killed and his body dumped in the water, while his wife was held hostage for 48 hours before being rescued by the Spanish military.
  • Two members of the gang identified as the "recruiters", Farhan Abdisalamn Hassan and Ahmed Abdullahi Akid, were handed 15-year sentences.

Christian was killed and his body dumped in the water, while his wife was held hostage for 48 hours before being rescued by the Spanish military.

Two members of the gang identified as the “recruiters”, Farhan Abdisalamn Hassan and Ahmed Abdullahi Akid, were handed 15-year sentences.

Farhan Mohamoud Abchir, a minor at the time of the hijacking who has developed schizophrenia while in prison, according to his lawyer, was given the lightest six-year jail term.

The prosecutor had sought terms of up to 22 years for the seven.

“It’s hard to understand the range of the penalties, the motivations of the court. Fifteen years is a very heavy sentence,” said Augustin d’Ollone, lawyer for Akid Abdullahi.

The Colombo family cried as the sentence was read out.

“It has been four years that we have sought life sentences. This verdict does not satisfy us,” the family said in a statement posted on social media.

Before the sentence was read out, the Somalis asked for “forgiveness” for a crime they said haunted them “every day”.

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