Two of the 36 pirates who were captured earlier this month have appeared in a Madrid court facing hijacking charges.
The two men were caught by the Spanish navy as they tried to make their way ashore. The pirates still holding the boat say they will not negotiate the vessels release until their Somali colleagues in Madrid are freed. Carme Chacon, the Spanish Defence Minister said: “The military in this operation have a specific objective — to catch pirates red handed. That’s what the Spanish military vessel did. Since then, all the rules have been followed and the detainees have been put before a judge.” The Alakrana, a tuna boat, was seized in early October in the Indian Ocean and taken to the port town of Harardere, the piracy hub in the region. The pirate crew is truly international with members from Spain, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Senegal and the Seychelles. Many pirates escape prosecution because of doubts about the borders of jurisdiction or because Western governments fear they will try to claim asylum if brought to their countries for trial. The French military have had more success recently at defending their boats. They repelled two attacks by firing on the pirates. They have made it their policy since July for the military to protect boats in the region from pirates.