The Supreme Court of the Seychelles recently found 15 Somalis guilty of piracy and jailed them for up to 18 years.
Judge Mohan Burhan rejected their defence that they were fishing and having fun as they fired rockets at a tanker in the Arabian Sea and that weapons – including assault rifles – which they dumped at sea when a surveillance helicopter appeared were only for their own protection, reports the 'Seychelles Nation'.
Captain Stanislav Ususchev of the oil tanker MV Sunshine informed the court he saw a skiff approaching his vessel at 24 knots which caught up with the tanker in order to launch a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) towards the bridge.
The tanker’s crew took protective measures by entering the citadel of the ship, fired water cannons at the skiff and radioed for help, following which helicopters on surveillance duties flew to the area, filmed what was happening and soldiers from another surveillance unit boarded the skiff, whose crew had thrown their weapons overboard and surrendered.
In his judgment Mr Burhan noted that Seychelles law has been amended to allow prosecution of pirates found within the country's borders and beyond.
Source: Seychelles Nation