Suspected Somali pirates charged in Kenyan court

09:24, June 21, 2011      

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Kenyan authorities on Monday charged in court 24 suspected Somali pirates who were arrested by the Danish Navy in the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean.

Senior State Counsel Catherine Mwaniki told the court that the Attorney-General requires two more days to detain the pirates in the police station to ensure that proper investigations are instituted before they are charged.

Investigating officer Millicent Ouko said in her affidavit that the police have not been able to complete their investigations within the stipulated 24 hours due to the number of suspects who require translation, while others require specialized treatment, due to the injuries they sustained during the arrest.

It is against the law in Kenya to hold a suspect for more than 24 hours without preferring any charges against him. "Our preliminary investigations have revealed that there is a probable and compelling cause to hold the suspects pending the completion of investigations," Ouko said.

It had been claimed that four of the suspects had died during the shootout with the navy in the deep sea, and eight other sustained serious injuries.

Ouko told the court that the AG's office required an extension of pre-charge detention since placing them in prison custody, will make it difficult for them (police) to complete their investigations.

The suspects were arrested by navy officers of the Danish Royal Warship Esbern Snare on suspicion of having committed the offence of piracy. They were then handed over and re-arrested by the Kenya Police as suspects of piracy and hijacking.

Source: Xinhua
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