Mauritius convicts 12 Somali pirates

The Intermediate Court of Mauritius has reversed its earlier decision and convicted twelve persons accused of attempting to carry out an act of piracy against a merchant ship, MSC Jasmine, on 5 January 2013, the court papers show.

The conviction follows an earlier court ruling, made in November 2014, that found the men not guilty based on the lack of concrete evidence.

However, the Supreme Court of Mauritius overturned the acquittal by the intermediate court in December 2015.

When the attack happened in January 2013, some 260 miles off the Somali Coast, the master of the Cypriot container ship sent out a distress call reporting that he and his crew were coming under attack by armed men in a fast moving boat.

Having employed avoidance tactics, the merchant vessel was able to repel the attack.

Upon arriving at the scene, boarding teams from counter-piracy warships from NATO and EU Naval Force boarded two suspect vessels, and after apprehending twelve men, the suspects were transferred to the Republic of Mauritius for prosecution.

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