Pirates who fired weapons at Dutch marines are to stand trial in the Netherlands
Four Somalis are set tobe tried for piracy and violence against Dutch troops. The suspects arrived at Eindhoven Air Base, in the Netherlands. A boarding team from the amphibious transport ship, HNLMS Rotterdam, on 25 October were unexpectedly confronted with an aggressive response during a routine check on a dhow off the Somali coast.
The Rotterdam, when at 400 meters from the Somali coast decided to inspect a nearby fishing boat. When the team of marines in specialized motor boats (RHIB's) were about 100 meters away, they were fired upon from this so-called dhow, which had been hijacked it was discovered. A RHIB was hit and suffered minor damage from gunfire. The Marines were unharmed and returned fire. In addition, they received support from the Rotterdam. The dhow caught fire and many of the hostage crew and pirates jumped overboard. While the Marines, using the RHIB's, saved them from drowning in the water, they were shot at once more. This time both from the dhow and from the shore. The marines fired back.
Finally, the Marines were able to rescue 25 from drowning. The captain of the dhow identified six of them as being pirates, having taken him and his Pakistani / Iranian crew hostage several weeks earlier in the waters off Oman. Of the 21 original crew of the dhow, two are reported missing. The rest were taken aboard the Rotterdam. There were two wounded pirates and six crew that required treatment. One crew member was killed. The original crew and the remains of the deceased were transferred to the relevant authorities of Iran and Pakistan.
In view of the fact Dutch soldiers were shot at, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) decided a trial of the four suspects would take place in the Netherlands. The other two suspects were released as they were minors. The research is being conducted by the Royal Military Police, headed by the National Office.
A court in Rotterdam recently convicted nine Somalis of piracy and sentenced them to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.