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Accused Somali pirates on trial in France for 2009 hijacking

Three Somali pirates accused of hijacking a private yacht off the coast of Somalia in 2009 went on trial in France Monday. The situation garnered heavy media coverage after French special services attempted to rescue [Telegraph report] the three french nationals being held captive on the sailboat on April 10, 2009, four days after they were taken hostage. The operation led to the death of the boat's captain, Florent Lemacon, and the freeing of his wife and son. The three pirates now between the ages of 27 and 31 have been held in French custody [AFP report] since the incident four years ago.

A number of countries around the world have taken actions in the attempt to solve the problem of maritime piracy [JURIST news archive]. In August a jury in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] convicted [JURIST report] three Somali men of hijacking a boat and killing four Americans in 2011 off the coast of Somalia. In February the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court upheld the sentences [JURIST report] of 10 Somali pirates convicted of highjacking a UAE-owned bulk-carrier ship in April 2011. In October 2012 the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg [official website, in German] issued sentences [JURIST report] for 10 Somalis who were involved in the hijacking the German freighter MS Taipan off the coast of Somalia two years ago.

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