[JURIST] The Spanish National Court [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday sentenced [press release, in Spanish] six Somali pirates to 16 years in prison for an October 2012 attack on the Spanish boat Izurdia. While attempting to attack the tuna boat off the coast of Somalia, the men were repelled by a private security force and eventually captured by the Royal Netherlands Navy. The six men were found guilty of conspiring to board and hijack ships off the horn of Africa in order to gain illegal profits. In its ruling, the court noted “all of the accused formed part of the final step of an organization dedicated to piracy, in which they assaulted, boarded and kidnapped people and property with the aim of obtaining illicit benefits” and stated the men were working for a pirate organization out of Harare, Zimbabwe.
A number of countries around the world have taken actions in the attempt to solve the problem of maritime piracy [JURIST news archive]. In November the UN Security Council adopted a resolution [JURIST report] renewing its international call to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia. In August security forces arrested [JURIST report] Somali pirate Mohamed Garfanji, then second-in-command of Somalia’s pirate industry. In April the Spanish Supreme Court increased the sentences [press release, in Spanish] to 82 years for six pirates found guilty of committing acts of piracy against the Navy ship Patino. In 2013 a judge for the US District Court Eastern District of Virginia sentenced [JURIST report] Somali pirates Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar to 21 life sentences for their roles in the killing of four Americans aboard a yacht off the Horn of Africa in February 2011. Also that year three Somali pirates accused of hijacking [JURIST report] a private yacht off the coast of Somalia in 2009 faced trial in France.