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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Spain to seek 220-year sentences for suspected pirates

    MADRID — Spanish prosecutors are seeking prison sentences of 220 years for two Somalis charged with participating in the hijacking of a Spanish fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean in October 2009, judicial sources said Monday.

    The 36 crew members of MS Alakrana were released after 47 days.

    The Spanish government denied that a ransom was paid for them, but the prosecutors have contradicted this. The amount paid was however not clear, the prosecutors said in a court document.

    Media reports earlier put the ransom at about $4 million.

    A few days after the hijacking, two of the suspected pirates were captured by a Spanish frigate participating in international anti-piracy patrols in the area.

    The two, who are known as Abdou Willy and Raagegeesey, were then flown to Spain for trial at the National Court.

    There was initial disagreement over whether Abdou Willy was old enough to face trial. The prosecutors, however, said both of the Somalis were adults.

    The prosecution was seeking 220 years in prison for each of the accused on charges including illegal detention, the use of arms, and violently stealing goods from the hostages, the document said.

    The two should also pay each of the fishermen $140,000 in damages, as well as a yet unspecified sum to the company that owned the Alakrana, the prosecutors said.

    Sixteen of the Alakrana crew members were Spanish. The others came from Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and the Seychelles.

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