3 teenage boys among 7 Somalis facing death in Malaysia piracy case
Piracy suspects are escorted from a magistrate's hearing in Kuala Lumpur on January 31.
February 11th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

3 teenage boys among 7 Somalis facing death in Malaysia piracy case

Seven Somalis, including three boys under 15 years old, could face the death penalty if convicted on charges of firing on Malaysian armed forces while attempting to a hijack a merchant ship.

The seven appeared before a Malaysia magistrate in Kuala Lumpur on Friday to hear the charges against them. They did not enter a plea and were transferred to a prison to await the next court action, set for March 15, the Malaysian national news agency Bernama reported.

The charges stem from an attack on the container ship Bunga Laurel in the Gulf of Aden on January 20.

Malaysian authorities say the seven suspects fired on Malaysian navy commandos who were trying to rescue the Bunga Laurel from pirates. Three suspects were injured in the gunbattle, and the ship and its crew of 23 were rescued, according a report in The Star.

The Bunga Laurel was registered in Panama, owned by a Japanese company, crewed by Filipinos and chartered by a Malaysian company, according to news reports.

Prosecutors argued Friday that the attempted piracy endangered Malaysia's national security, providing legal authority for the seven to be tried in Malaysia, Bernama reported.

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Filed under: Malaysia • Pirates • World
soundoff (489 Responses)
  1. Joe in Kalispell

    Piracy = Death... Works for me

    February 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. danno

    These bilge rats should walk the plank........arrrh

    February 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Emilio Esteves

    oh well.

    February 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve T

    Just take them out to sea about 200 miles and toss them overboard – let's see what kind of pirates they really are...

    February 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. theshrewdwizard

    lol

    So, after reading half a dozen comments or so I've come to the conclusion that we need to either kill these dangerous, law breaking criminals or let them live because as a 14 year old regardless of what part of the world you are from, your brain has not fully developed and thus you cannot make truly critical decisions on a regular basis. Here's what I think...

    You have to study the demographics and cultural/political geography of Somali, a country run basically by war lords without any law and complete anarchy residing within the political orifice.

    So, I'd first like to ask any of you if you have the slightest idea of how these "kids" grow up? The conditions of their homes, their families, their lifestyles, education, and so forth...

    Do you honestly think that they are like the typical suburbia teenager, going to school everyday, hooking up with girls on the weekend at an innocent teen party? Haha, don't think so....

    These kids grow up in completely dysfunctional families, some or shall I say the majority of them without any family units all together. They are starving, deprived of love, medical attention, education, clean sanitation, the internet, and so forth.

    You have a jungle of poverty, pain, murder, simply hell on earth down in Somalia and you're going to blame kids? This problem started way before they were born and it's simply wrong to blame them for the condition of their lives. These kids really do have nothing better to do because they're not trying to get rich like Gucci Mane or Justin Bieber, they're hijacking ships so that they can afford food, clothing, medical attention and basic life necessities. Yes, it's wrong to steal but what exactly did Europe do when they colonized Africa? They depleted the resources, treated the people like trash, ruined their tribal borders by creating nations without regard for existing systems and they left the country in shambles. This is why places such as Somalia are so ruined, because of white people... Blame your selves and your ancestors for exploiting the great continent of Africa hundreds of years ago. Did West Africans have a choice to come as slaves across the world? Absolutely not, whites again exploited them ruining families, tribes, lands, established communities and wrecking havoc on the entire African continental population. We are to blame for all of Africa's unfortunate issues, as our evil, unnecessary intervention caused immeasurable amounts of pain for generations upon generations of innocent Africans. Perhaps instead of spending money on rounding up Somali pirates, the E.U. and the U.S could start positive programs within Africa on a massive scale, helping to reintroduce democracy and establish a working, orderly society which could be beneficial to all. Imagine Somalia as a resort, right on the coast of a beautiful ocean and great climate. Yes, these pirates pointed lethal weapons at seemingly innocent boaters but then again, we caused it...

    February 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • danno

      Check your history a bit more carefully. Whites did not simply round up a bunch of Africans for the purpose of slavery. These future slaves were sold by their OWN tribes to anyone who needed them. They were exploited by their own people.

      February 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • theshrewdwizard

      danno, as I have a degree in history I'd like to refresh your mind a bit. Yes, I agree with you that other tribes did round up rival tribes and sold them to whites.... you're point is lacking a large amount of background. Why did tribes do this? Because whites paid them to....simple as that. If you have an option to either enslave your neighbor or be enslaved your self, would most people choose the latter? I think not.. Europeans brought guns to Africa, the tribes had absolutely no way to fight back as their spears were no match for gunpowder. Since the indigenous Africans obviously had the upper hand when it came to knowing the local geography, the Europeans basically contracted with a few, paying them to round up more and usually taking the contractor at the end as he was no longer of any use....no offense personally but I believe the entire truth should be told when making a comment such as yours.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • spork

      theshrewdwizard, your comments are refreshing, being actual educated & intelligent, as opposed to the massive amount of hate & bigotry running throughout the bulk of these comments. Another thing that should be mentioned is that these children have no one to protect them from being preyed upon by the stronger adults & criminal groups that control their country, absolutely no where else to go, and very few choices in their actions. In another environment, it's very unlikely that they'd turn to (or be forced into) piracy, and if given a different environment, it's possible the younger boys may be able to find redemption. There's definitely a gray area to this. Unfortunately for these kids, they never had a chance before, and they're very unlikely to be given one now.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      another example of revisionist history, its not the fault of africans who sold their people into slavery, they had no choice, its not their fault because of guns (?) the fact is slavery was thriving in africa long before whites and is the only place where it remains uninterupted a thriving industry from the dawn of history up until present day. what white slavers did in america or anywhere else is no ones fault other than white slavers, but its not accurate nor is it intellegent to excuse the role that africans played (and continue to play) in that trade, its that type of brainless excuse at all costs pc thinking that allows the slave trade to thrive in africa today, most liberals get extremely uncomfortable at the very mention of the topic, so its been ignored for decades, at the expense of and causing great misery to the people of africa

      February 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ieat

      My ancestors are clean. I'm Chinese.

      February 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      lol you're joking right? china harvests organs from people who are still living for the crime of believing in the wrong religion, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

      February 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dooly

    This is too harsh.

    February 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Franklin Szygby

    There is no sufficient reason to execute anybody. Capital punishment is a stain on our humanity.

    February 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chung

      That's your opinion. I think it's under-used.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • spork

      I generally agree with Franklin, though with some reservations for extreme instances.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ohh Boy

    Rrrrrr Matie!!

    February 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ohh Boy

    Rrrr.. Make them walk thee plank!!! Rrrrr

    February 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dick

    Hitler lives!!

    February 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. h2o467

    This is how the rest of the world needs to deal with these dirty pirates. No mercy! We need to nuke Somalia.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Examples

    They are lucky that is was Malasia and not good old US Navy Seals that caught them. Those guys got 3 bullits to the head and a clean shirt to bury them in. Didn't they used to try the float test on witches ? I think they should just drop them overboard, If you can swim back to shore "float" you weren't a pirate. If you drown (Sink) you were a pirate. Leave it up to them to decide.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      I'm pretty sure the test for being a witch was true if you floated.
      If you floated, you were a witch and burned at the stake.
      If you sank, you drowned.

      February 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave

    I have a freind that was sailing thru the south china sea when he was acosted by 2 pirate speeboats.... being ex military, he pretended not to see them coming and was down below, acting like he was cooking or sleeping. Little did they know he had an HK-91 assault rifle and an MP71 machine gun. Long story short.....he killed 2 in each boat which left only the drivers... they fled but he managed to kill on of them too.....the things that make ya go hmmmmmmmmm.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jja

    Killing them may be extreme, IF they really are 14-15. If they are 18, I say let them swing. Trying to portray them as wide-eyed innocents, does not cut it, sorry. You had better believe they know what they are doing and they would kill you in a heratbeat if you were in the way.

    To those who make the "terrible environment" that they exist in argument, how do you explain (can you, even?) the millions around the world who live in similar or worse conditions and do not resort to piracy or crime?

    Malaysia does not play around, their sentences and justice is some of the most severe in the world – they may have picked the worst possible ship to hijack.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • spork

      The millions around the world who live in awful conditions often do resort to crime of one kind or another. You can't deny that even within the most developed countries (like the U.S.), poorer neighborhoods generally exhibit much higher rates of theft & violence – it's the same everywhere, multiplied by the degree of general poverty. However, this is usually diminished when there's a strong (and especially oppressive) government. In Somalia, there's extreme poverty and no government, so the only rule that exists is by criminals & pirates.

      In any case, I'd hardly say these kids are wide-eyed innocents, as they've had their innocence corrupted. This is a real tragedy, but if they're young enough, and given more of a chance to live & learn, the chance for redemption exists & capitol punishment is unwarranted. If they're 18 ... well, it's likely too late. I'd expect being in Malaysia now, they're pretty much done for, anyhow.

      February 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. theBest

    Bye Bye guys....enjoy your death. I'll be watching the video of it a week later on the net, sitting on my couch drinking a root beer, eating snacks and farting. Hahaha....have a nice death!

    February 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
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