Somali pirates trial: Deposition of 18 foreigners begins

Mateen Hafeez

MUMBAI: The 18 foreign witnesses will begin deposition in the videoconferencing trial of the 120 Somali pirates, who are facing charges of murder, hijacking a ship and waging war against the Indian government, in a city court from Wednesday.

“The court has examined 70 Indian witnesses and 12 are left to be examined. Six witnesses from Thailand, six from Mozambique, two from Pakistan and four from Iran are yet to be examined. We have sent a request for video trial to their countries,” said a senior police officer.

The pirates were captured by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard in separate raids. Around 60 of the pirates were caught in March 2011, when naval ships intercepted a captured Mozambican fishing vessel, Vega 5, in the Arabian Sea about 600 nautical miles west of India. Others were caught when the Navy launched an assault to free the Iranian fishing trawler, Al Murtaza, that was captured by the pirates.

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