Belgian police are holding a Somali pirate warlord who has been lured to
Belgium on promises of a film role. If Danishpolice have enough evidence to
couple him to the hijack of the Danish vessel Danica White, he can be
prosecuted in Denmark, according to a maritime law expert.
“The Belgians have arrested him because they want to prosecute him
themselves,” says University of Southern Denmark Ass. Prof. Birgit Feldtmann.
“Depending on Belgian law, it could be possible to include the Danica White
case in the Belgian prosecution. But legally there is nothing to prevent
Denmark prosecuting him alone if there is sufficient evidence,” Feldtmann
Feltman, who also researches piracy, says that pirates seldom clean up after
themselves when they release a vessel, allowing evidence to be collected.
“The warlord behind the kidnapping does not have to have been on board t; it
is enough to prove that he has planned and organised the hijack,” she says.
A total of 15 Danes have been held hostage by pirates since 2007. Apart from
merchant mariners, a Danish family of five and their two crewmembers have
been held. As yet, no-one has been arrested or sentenced for the hijacks.
“There has been a debate suggesting that there is no political wish to
prosecute pirates in Denmark. I believe that incidents should be
investigated and efforts made to arrest the pirates, even though it is
complicated,” she says, adding that despite the fact that the Danica White
case goes back six years, it has not fallen under the Statute of Limitations.
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