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. freaked out

    Wow, reading some of the comments on here is a real eye opener....so many extremely ignorant comments. I guess people are not afraid to express thier stupidity and ignorance when they are anonymous.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Whitney Houston

    They should be trialed as adults. If not, are they kids in pirate suits? hahaha

    February 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. blob

    They should let them live. Pirates nowadays have so many obstacles in life to overcome. All you had before was scurvy and a knife in the back. These kids were obviously just trying to make a living. The real perp here is society...

    February 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |

    if these boys were white there'd be public outrage and sympathy....
    oh well, let the black boys hang

    February 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. St Paul Steve

    PCola Vet-
    LONDON/ATHENS | Wed Feb 9, 2011 12:35pm EST
    LONDON/ATHENS (Reuters) – Suspected Somali pirates captured a U.S.-bound tanker carrying around $200 million worth of crude oil in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday in one of the biggest hijackings in the area so far.

    I think I read something earlier about others being in a shell and not paying attention to the news???

    February 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    To this point, pirates haven't been terrorists. They haven't been killing or harming the passengers and have simply been taking over the ships for insurance money. They have fired on ships, but I haven't heard of them killing anyone. After they have received the ransom, they have left and the passengers have been fine. These are people that are lucky to get a meal in a day. Somali kids have said that if their dad finds work that day, they eat. If not, they don't. It's a desert country and growing food and raising animals difficult. For those that advocate executing them, I guess we should execute all the teenagers in the U.S. that are charged with robbery, even those from wealthy family who rob to support a teenage drug addiction.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stacheroo

    While I can disagree with RIco as a kid who is 14 or 15 is well old enough to be responsible for his or her actions and knows damn well what they are doing . The kids in this case are not growing up in a good environment , they were probably raised on the streets and taken in by the same criminals who they sit in jail with today. the problem is , these kids are not wild eyed innocents but corrupted and maybe not given a choice – so what do you with them? reform school, juvenile detention , counseling ?

    February 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Shawn

    Everybody deserves a chance at life and I'm sure these kids were raised in a pretty unhealthy environment. It's not too late for them to change their ways so I would would say imprison them and allow them to get some education behind bars (although I'm sure the prison system over there is probably just as bad as the US). As for the adults – hang & gibbet them like they did in the old days with pirates.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sanjosemike

    Somalia is (another) in the long list of failed Islamic countries. We know that there are no jobs, no government and few opportunities. Yet, their population continues to grow geometrically. Women are severely devalued, illiterate and treated like "Islamic pigs."

    It is this environment that helps produce pirates. Folks, this is NOT our fault. Our help (such as tourism) would not be appreciated or wanted in Somalia, which is exceedingly dangerous for Westerners.

    I'm sorry that these "kids" will be hung, but I will make the prediction that they will be. Some things are simply not OUR fault. Piracy is a horrendous crime that results in the deaths of innocent people, not to mention that it is also an ecomomic crime.

    The Malaysian people have a strong death penalty contingency in their population. I think they give fair warning about this and their judicial system, which DOES have a degree of due process. My guess is that most people in Somalia KNOW that Malaysia has a DP.

    Let the chips fall where they may. sanjosemike

    February 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. b0bc4t

    Kids or not, willing or not, these guys are pirates, and either volunteered or were recruited for one reason... extorting money. TheShrewdWizard talks of making Somalia a resort and redistributing wealth. Guess what ... these pirates seize ships and demand millions in ransom, whih is distributed in their little pirate city, while the rest of the country lives on dirt and rocks. The pirate communities have every convenience that their acquired ransom can afford, while the rest of the city benefits from their ill gotten booty. They are protected so that the money stream won't run dry.

    The original justification was that Somali fishermen were haing their territorial waters fished clean. Now it is about what ransom they can extort from the corporate owners of the cargo ships. They actually held a ship full of military armaments hostage along with the crew. Water cannons and firehoses are no match for their speedboats and automatic weapons. The American ship that was rescued and others have thwarted these pirates as the result of these captains locking people in cargo holds so the minimal staff of pirates could not commandeer the crew and have valuable hostages and freight.

    These pirates also do not offer their captives any mercy, speeding towards them with guns and grenades blazing. They reap what they sow. They deal in death, and are finally given the same quarter by the country that they fired upon.

    Pay no ransom and blow them out of the water when they approach.
    Let Somalia reign in their citizens, not coddle them while they plunder commercial traffic and make themselves rich.
    Use the barriers that contained the oil in the Gulf to surround the country and police it.
    This is a global disgrace that piracy is still an issue to be dealt with in the twenty first century.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jake

    Who knows if they really are 15 or not. It's not like they're carrying their passports. Wasn't there a question if one of the Somali pirates captured by the US was as young as he claimed to be? Any age- pirates should be killed and there shouldn't even need to be a trial. If they want to live like pirates- they can die like pirates, not be living the good life in some prison while lawyers to debate their fate.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Blahman39

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. You guys are jumping to conclusions about these kids being killers. Nowhere in the article does it say they killed anyone! Firing on someone is a completely different thing then actually killing someone and yet you guys are acting like a lynch mob. Some of you really need to sit back and re-examine your ideas of justice.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NamVet

    I like the old fashion way. Bring charges while at sea and conduct the trial and execute immediately by walking the plank. Make an entry in the ship's log and report it when returning to home port (maybe a year or so after the fact.} If properly equipped, swing by the pirates home port and blow it to bits.

    February 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jane smith

    I fail to see what harm executing them would do. If returned home, they most likely will simply try hijacking another ship until they are successful. If they are put to death, that problem will be solved with a good degree of permanence.

    February 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt R

    The proper response to piracy is to douse the pirate vessel in gasoline/diesel and set it on fire. The pirates are either crispy critters or shark bait; in either case, who cares?

    February 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
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