SOMALI pirates who hijacked a Spanish Naval vessel after mistaking it for a private civilian boat are facing tougher sentences following a Supreme Court ruling.
The six men, who invaded the Patiño in the Indian Ocean in 2012, were said to be ‘sufficiently armed’ and to ‘have the intention to take over control of the ship’ and ‘demand a ransom’.
Initially, they were facing between eight and 12 years in jail for an attempted hijack, but a Supreme Court judge in Spain considers that the hijack was in fact achieved even though the fact the ship turned out to belong to the Armed Forces meant the intruders did not get as far as kidnapping the occupants and calling for ransom money.
A First Officer who was on night duty warned officials at around 03.00hrs local time on January 12, 2012 that apassenger boat was trailing the Patiño along its side, and that the occupants were armed and trying to board the ship.
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