The trial of 10 Somalian men accused of piracy has started in Germany.
Amidst a media scrum, the defendants and their lawyers assembled in the Hamburg state court, to hear evidence that the men attempted to seize a German container ship in April, just off the coast of Somalia.
Germany has not seen a piracy trial in the last 400 years.
German Senior Public Prosecutor Wilhelm Moellers said:
“We believe that the state prosecutor’s office has enough evidence”.
“We presented about 22 witnesses to the court, a variety of evidences, among them the confiscated weapons of the accused”.
The MS Taipan was the target of the attempted hijack in the Gulf of Aiden.
But Dutch troops in the area responded to the crew’s emergency call and launched an offensive from their anti-piracy vessel to regain control of the ship.
Gunfire was exchanged and the would-be hijackers were forced to surrender.
The men were then handed over to the German authorities and, if convicted, face a sentence of up to 15 years in Germany.