Nine suspected Somali pirates have received 19,600 Danish crowns (USD 3,247) each in compensation from Denmark for being detained too long before being brought before a judge, AFP cited the public prosecutor’s office as saying on Monday.
The amount is staggering, having in mind that half of the Somali population live on a dollar a day.
The group of Somali pirates is suspected of having tried to hijack a Danish ship Torm Kansas in the Indian Ocean on November 10, 2013. The ship’s armed security team manged to repel the attack.
NATO’s counter-piracy Operation Ocean Shield warship HDMS Esbern Snare was the closest ship in the area and was directed to the scene.
During the night, the warship located a whaler and a skiff in the vicinity of the attack on the Danish vessel, boarded two small craft and detained nine suspected pirates.
The suspects were held 13 days in detainment before being brought before a judge. Under Danish law, a person must to be brought before a judge within 24 hours.
During a hearing by videolink the suspects said they were fishermen and that their vessels lost power. This and other factors led prosecutors to drop the case, AFP said.
The court decision on compensation comes just a few days after the European Court of Human Rights ordered payment of compensation to Somali pirates worth thousands of euros for failing to present “promptly” the accused men before a judge upon their arrival to the country.
The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) said that the decision of the EU Human Rights Court was repugnant and insulting to all seafarers who have survived piracy attacks.
The said court rulings on compensation to suspected pirates have hit headlines especially as the most recent developments saw a Vietnamese seafarer being shot dead by pirates in an attack on board a tanker vessel VP Asphalt 2 that took place on Sunday afternoon.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: NATO