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Kenya prosecutors charge suspected Somali pirates captured by US

[JURIST] Kenyan prosecutors have charged 17 Somalis with piracy [JURIST news archive]. The men, arrested by US Naval forces in the Gulf of Aden in May, were turned over to the Kenyan authorities [Reuters report] last Wednesday and charged [AP report] Thursday. Also last week, the Swedish Navy turned over seven [AFP report] suspected Somali pirates to Kenyan authorities. The European Union (EU) [official website] and Kenya have reached an agreement [EU press release, PDF; JURIST report] that allows EU navies to apprehend alleged pirates and turn them over to Kenyan authorities for prosecution. There is a similar agreement [Reuters report] between the US and Kenya. Kenya now holds more than 100 alleged pirates from Somalia.

Last month, officials from the G8 countries [BBC backgrounder] agreed to work toward establishing a system for trying pirates [JURIST report] captured in African waters. Also in May, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime [official website] obtained Kenyan support [VOA report] to launch a new plan to combat piracy by policing Horn of Africa waters. In April, Kenyan authorities brought charges [JURIST report] against 18 Somali nationals who were captured by German and French forces over the previous two months.

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