BOSSASO, Somalia Dec 30 2012 (Garowe Online) – A court in Somalia's Puntland regional autonomy has sentenced 3 pirates on Sunday after being found guilty of
holding the newly liberated MV Iceberg 1 and its crew hostage for nearly 3
years, Garowe Online reports.
The criminal offense court in Bari region located in the
region’s capital Bossaso, found Abdihakim Mohamed Jama, Abdikafi Abdul Dirie
and Sayid Isse guilty of piracy and kidnapping, sentencing the men from 3 to 10
Judge Sheikh Adam Ahmed Mohamed gave the verdict on Sunday
after days of deliberation. Sayid Isse was found guilty and sentenced to 3 years, while Mr. Dirie and Mr. Jama were sentenced to 10 years in prison each. The men were
also fined for hijacking of the MV Iceberg 1 and its 24 member staff.
Court documents rev
ealed that the three pirates were
arrested by P
untland government forces on Dec. 11 after
a group of pirates attacked
as the forces laid siege to the MV Iceberg 1 vessel.
The judge also stated
that the other individuals who took part in the hijacking were being sought out
by authorities and if found guilty could face up to life in prison.
Puntland government forces including the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) rescued the 22
hostages on Dec. 23 after a two-week standoff with the pirates on board the Dubai
The hostages gave an
emotional press conference in Garowe, administrative capital of Puntland, after
being rescued, thanking the Puntland government for conducting the operation
that gave them their freedom after nearly 3 years of captivity.
The Puntland government operation last week was the first successful operation carried out to free a foreign owned vessel and international hostages being held in Somali waters since Somali piracy spiked in 2006.