German Court Convicts 10 Somalis of Piracy

Posted October 19th, 2012 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A German court has convicted 10 Somalis, in the country's first piracy trial in centuries.

The court in Hamburg sentenced the men to prison terms of between two and seven years each.

The Somalis were arrested by the Dutch navy in 2010 after they hijacked a German container ship off the Horn of Africa.

Defense attorneys had sought acquittals, saying the hijacking was an act of desperation by people living in a country ravaged by war.

Prosecutors had called for sentences of up to 12 years.

Somalia-based pirates have hijacked dozens of ships traveling near the Horn of Africa in recent years, and made hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom.

Attacks have declined sharply this year, as ships take more protective measures and international naval forces closely patrol the coastline.