Three teenagers from Africa rescued in the Mediterranean Sea have been charged with hijacking a commercial tanker to force it to change course to Malta.
The Turkish tanker, the El Hiblu 1 was seized by a group of migrants of a larger group of 108 whom it rescued at the sea within Libya’s search and rescue zone on Wednesday.
The migrants reportedly threatened the crew and forced it to change direction once they realized that they were going to be returned to Libya.
The three youths, aged 15, 16 and 19 appeared in court on Saturday to face charges of having unlawfully seized control of the ship, a crime, which, under Maltese law, is punishable by a jail term ranging from seven to 30 years.
Two of the teenagers are from Guinea while one is from Cote d’Ivoire.
All three said in court that they were students. They were, however, denied because they have no ties to the island.
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