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EU, Kenya reach pirate prosecution agreement

[JURIST] The European Union (EU) [official website] announced Friday that it has entered into an agreement with Kenya [press release, PDF] to transfer suspected pirates [JURIST news archive] captured by EU counter-pirate operations into Kenyan custody for prosecution. The agreement contains provisions for the nine Somali pirates captured by German forces [DW report] on Tuesday, and "defines modalities" for any capture of suspected pirates in the future. Germany has maintained a presence in the Gulf of Aden as a part of the EU's Naval Forces Atalanta mission to stem pirate activity in the troubled Gulf region. The EU's agreement with Kenya is the first agreement [DW report] between the EU and a country located within that African region.

Kenya has become the lead prosecutor of suspected pirates captured by third-party countries within the Gulf of Aden. In November, eight Somalis were charged [JURIST report] in a Kenyan court [Kenya judiciary website] for piracy after being turned over to Kenyan officials by the British Royal Navy [official website]. In January 2006, the US Navy [official website] captured 10 Somali men 200 miles off the coast of Somalia and turned them over to Kenyan courts in Mombasa for prosecution [press release]. In November 2006, each of the 10 men was sentenced to seven years in prison.

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