INTERTANKO Calls for Prosecution of Bow Saga Pirates

Thursday, August 05, 2010

INTERTANKO calls for the prosecution of the Somali pirates whose attack on the Norwegian 40,085 dwt chemical tanker Bow Saga in the Gulf of Aden Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor was frustrated by the Spanish frigate Victoria, where the pirates are now being detained.

INTERTANKO hopes that these men will not be released due to the absence of any country willing to detain them and try them in court. We appeal to the Seizing State (Spain) or the Flag State (Norway) to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in repression of piracy' as per Art 100 of UNCLOS, and therefore to prosecute or extradite – either to prosecute the pirates on the basis of customary international law, or to transfer the prosecution to another state.

This summer has seen the successful prosecution of pirates in Rotterdam and in the Seychelles, resulting in prison sentences of five years for five pirates for the attack on the Sananyolu and ten years for 11 pirates for the attack on the Topaz. We hope that this pressure to obtain proper justice will be sustained in the case of the Bow Saga, particularly since we understand that naval personnel who boarded and searched the skiff found weapons onboard.

INTERTANKO understands that the Master of the Bow Saga, which is en route to Europe, has given a statement to a representative from EUNAVFOR. One of the keys to a successful prosecution is availability of officers and crew of the naval vessel as well as of the attacked vessel to provide witness statements in court or at least to provide written testimony.

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