In a major development in the Somali pirates case, the prosecution on Thursday communicated to the court, that the Somali Embassy has informed them of their (the pirates’) intention to plead guilty. In March 2011, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard had arrested 120 pirates in several raids.
These pirates are lodged in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai. A Mumbai Sessions Court, which is hearing the cases, was informed by the prosecution, that the Somali Embassy has written to the State Home Department informing them that the 120 pirates intend to plead guilty.
The Somali government also wrote that as the pirates are pleading guilty, their jail term could be served in their country. Prosecution has filed replies to the 32 bail applications and some medical applications sought, opposing the bail applications. The court will hear the matter next on November 19.
In March 2011, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard had rescued 70 hostages belonging to India, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey, Myanmar and Pakistan. Arms such as AK-47s, along with magazines and rocket launchers, were recovered from the pirates.
The pirates were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in addition to charges of attempted murder, unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy, hijacking a ship and carrying weapons, under the IPC. They have also been booked for waging war against the nation and under various sections of the Arms Act.