Six Somalis accused for piracy on trial in Spain

By Piracy
A trial started in Madrid against six Somali pirates. The prosecutors want a sentence of 23 years for each for attacking SPS Patino, EU NAVFOR Spanish warship, off the shoreline of Somalia in 2012.

EU NAVFOR press release stated that on January 12th, 2012 SPS Patino, EU NAVFOR-flagged vessel, was near the Somali port of Mogadishu. SPS PATINO had just completed escorting a World Food Programme vessel loaded with food, aid for Somalia.

A boat with suspected pirates approached SPS Patino. They tried to go onboard Pationo and started fire using a light caliber weapons. The crew of the ship returned fire and launched the vessel's helicopter to defend itself.

The pirate attempt was broken off by the skiff and the Somalis throw overboard their weapons, barrels of fuel and their ladder.

According to a spokesman, the Spanish Court has accused the Somalis of participating in a criminal group, piracy and weapon possession.

In their defense the Somali testified they were fishermen and they had approached SPS Patino to ask help.

In 2012 the Spanish Navy had 3 major supply vessel and tanker – The SPS Patino, the Contramaestre Casado transport ship and the Marques de la Ensenada fleet tanker. Probably the Somali thought the Spanish Patino was a merchant ship.

The end day of the trial is expected to be the 9th October. The officials still speak on state of anonymity due to court rules.