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. nghusker

    They should sentence them to a fate worse than death. They should make them spend twenty-three hours a day listening to Sarah Palin speeches.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. brononymous

    a lot of these pirates are fisherman whos livelihoods have been taken away from them because the pollution in that area that has killed off fish they used to rely on, when you live in a hell hole like that and really have no other option, what are you supposed to do to survive, seriously someone propose what other options they have. since youre all so quick to hang them

    February 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • brononymous

      seriously, european companies dumping waste into the gulf of aden, in a country with 9 million starving people, and no government. someone propose a realisitic option for these people to get by

      February 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earnán

      Piracy has been a common Somali practice for centuries.

      Spare us the hand-wringing liberal nonsense. Thugs like these pirates are the reason Somalia is a hell-hole. They've preyed on their own people for centuries, robbing and exploiting and murdering those Somalis who are actually productive.

      Now they've got access to boats with motors, so they think they can try the same crap outside of Somalia.

      February 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike B

    kill them all

    February 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    I love the Pirates!! Too bad we have yet another loosing season ahead of us. Once we're out of it (June 1st no less) I'll root for the Phillies. Go Pirates!!

    February 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lancer

    There is so much hate on this planet. You don't know these boy's situations. It's easy to cast stones from the land of milk and honey. Try living in Somalia before you make ignorant comments.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Indymid

    One thing that should be brought to the attention of this blood thirsty group voicing their horrid opinions is that Somalia is a "failed state". There has not been a central gov't since 1991, and these 15 year olds were born either in 1994 or 95 they know no laws they only know suffering of poverty and starvation. Any of you idiots put in the same position would either do the same thing(steal to survive), or die!! Come off of your self rightous ivory towers!!!

    February 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cam

      Maybe you are correct that they have known no other life. But if someone sticks an AK-47 in my face, 15 years old or what, he's got to know that if he is caught these are the consequences. Learn it early or learn it late. You better just learn it. There seems to be so much suffering in the world these days and I am not sure that we can fix it all.

      February 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andrew

    This is horrible. How can a 15 year old be held responsible to the point of capital punishment for an act committed in a lawless society where he was set to the task by rich, powerful warlords who are the recipients of any profit to be garnered.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |

      Because they are responsible for their own actions regardless what you or anyone else says.

      February 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Arrrrr!

    Did they have peg-legs?

    February 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. M. Stalwick

    Say hi to the virgins in paradise!

    February 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CA

    I'm just guessing that if it were white American 15 year olds driven to crime due to starvation, the comments here would be a lot different.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arrrrr!

      White American teenagers don't stave. They're driven to crime because they're stupid.

      February 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt R

      These people aren't being driven to crime by starvation. If that were true, they'd be stealing food, not holding ships for millions of dollars in ransom. They are greedy criminals and need to be killed.

      February 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rico

    They're 14 (or younger), not 15. We're not entirely sure whether they were forcibly included by older men or not. Certainly they are not capable of making the kinds of judgments one would expect an adult to make. Of course, they are not subject to US or European laws, it hardly matters what we think. We can't really intervene.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cttnmth420

      I hope you don't have children Rico. If you see a third grader that doesn't know its wrong to kill and steal than there is a serious problem, and third graders are eight.

      February 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • TVTran

      If you lived in Viet Nam during the war Rico, you will not be believe what an kid will do to kill you (for the communist sake and yes they KNOW what they doing too).

      February 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denvercherub

      Adult age is a new concept. Not too long ago 12 year olds were getting married and raising families. Legal age is something conceived to oppress and nothing else. 5 year olds know when it is wrong to kill and not. The real question is who is qualified enough to determine who should live or die? I have never met anyone worthy.

      February 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reg

      These pirates think they can get away with anything. Bring back the old fashioned penalty for all pirates

      February 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • buffalo dave

      You're an idiot.

      February 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnC

      I'm not an expert on neurophysiology and brain development, but I do know enough to understand that the parts of the brain that deal with consequences of action, moral decisions, etc. are not sufficiently developed at that age. I don't know what the solution is, but people who are saying that they they are able to correctly assess the situation are sadly ignorant of scientific fact. These kids are coerced by adults.

      February 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MGD

      death sentence is too kind... they need globally broadcasted torture in order to truly deter future pirates from entering the "profession"

      February 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dontcare

      I say give them the death penalty. It will be very unlikely that the younger pirates will grow up and be model citizens. Take care of the problem today while they are in custody.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I recently spent a year working with teenage refugees from Somalia within the Horn of Africa and it's easy to understand how teenagers can get caught up with the piracy to survive in the lawless country without a government. It's easy to sway a young mind where hope for jobs is slim and health conditions so poor that life expectancy is in the 50s. It's a shame they are facing the death penalty, but unless they were being returned to Somalia or an African country, the alternatives in Malaysia to the death penalty aren't much better. This is a country where flesh tearing caning is a common punishment and prison life is horrific. Hopefully they will return them, but if alternative is severe caning and return to a country without medical care, I am not sure which is worse.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • hookiecop

      Brain studies have shown some parts develop later, but MOST kids in this age range know its not right to kil another human. The real question is how much were they coerced to participate. If they were there of their own free will, then shey should suffer consequences. Adolescence is a rather recent concept. I've worked with public schools for 29 years; 13-16 yr olds can be MLSs (mean little shi_s)

      February 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • tdr

      Hang 'em. Plain and simple, hang 'em. Send a message to anyone thinking of piracy. You only get caught once and you never get away with it. Ever.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barney Fife

      You got to nip it in the bud

      February 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • William

      Thank Malaysia for doing what the rest of world is to afraid to do. A firing squad is appropriate for these pathetic individuals. To be honest, it would probably be best if some nation took the initiative to fire bomb the Somali coastline and eliminate the root of the problem.

      February 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrtinez666

      Run with the big dogs, you're gonna get bit.

      February 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Arrrrrrrrr matey!!! Time to walk the plank!

      February 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      I believe that we have passed the age of innocense. If I were on a ship that were under attack, I would hope that fire would be returned. If we were not to fire on those attempting to harm us, the least we should do is scuttle their boat and leave these sharks to their own devices. It's time they were stood up to. Set the example that such actions are not to be tolerated.

      February 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Executing pirates caught in the act will deter others from following their path.

      February 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      being a murderous pirate isnt really something that someone grows out of

      February 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • qanerd

      Listen, my 11 year old knows better than this. Not old enough to understand the implications? My hairy white butt they're not.

      February 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Question-Guy

      Rico's right, I say execute the adults and return the kids!!!

      February 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • rifleman

      its time the long arm of the law put a few in the ground, send them all to there maker, He'll settle em down...

      February 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • kathleen

      Piracy is cool at the movies but real life is wayyyyyy different .
      I know the people of Somalia are coping with extreme poverty and pirates are a major source of income ,
      Also that pirate is often the only job option for young males BUT . . .
      The hijacked ships will never take a lenient stance on Any pirates and I suspect Kuala Lumpur will execute ALL of them as soon as possible .

      Welcome to the REAL world . . .

      February 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyhouston

      Wrong in their culture they are adults and are expected to make choices like a adult.

      Only civilized societies are so stupid they think a number like 18 years old equals adult ....

      Let them fry

      February 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Kids kill others here in the US and they definitely know what they are doing.

      February 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I love how Americans think it is barbaric that Iran hangs children. Yet it's so easy to become "barbarians" yourselves when it suits you.

      February 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Didyourdadtellyounottokillpeople?

      Brain developed or not, you have to be taught that is wrong to kill someone to think that is wrong to kill someone. I think the point is that in these countries the older generations raise the children to be killers, just like they were raised. I don't buy the brain development argument, you know what you have learned in my opinion. "What did they teach you was right?" is the real question.

      February 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimjim

      Liars, idiots and fools. The truth is that it is easy to manipulate the minds of a 14-year-old. Many know this, but lie anyway. Then there are the idiots, who will never have the capacity for higher thought, and the fools who simply elect to avoid thinking, though they possess the ability.

      Legal age is not a new concept, unless two centeries is new to you. These kids killed no one, but you want to kill these kids – such bloodlust does not appease any modern God I know of.

      I know, to you they are just a bunch of sub-humans, but to the rest of us they are God's children and they deserve fair treatment.

      February 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      I don't think making an example of them is really going to matter. The situations these 'pirates' are in don't leave them with alot of options to make a decent 'honest living'. I would agree that at that age the brain is fully developed enough to be capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. However these individuals were born in absolute poverty. They're very easily coerced and they aren't very well educated. In my opinion nipping this problem at the butt would start with a better education and standard of life.

      February 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radical Moderate

      Hey Cop,

      Glad you don't work with kids in my school...

      February 11, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kille Mall

      I think they should be returned to their pirate relatives in Somalia. Air dropped directly on the pirates' homebase. From 10,000 feet sans parachute.

      February 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      intervene? intervene? What in the world are you talking about.
      These people are killers.
      They dammmnnned well knew what they were doing.

      February 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc Ellis

      Go back to being a pirate Rico, you're not making it as a pseudo psychologist... Yes, a person should know at 14 that pointing a weapon and stealing is wrong, and if not, shoot them on the spot!

      February 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JP

    We should hire these Malaysian soldiers for our southern border.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • muzak

      You got a problem with the Americans currently patrolling the border?

      February 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cttnmth420

      I thought STAZI should have been handleing it since '90 or so

      February 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • pierce

      Yes, they could have protected the southern border when the U.S. was seeking free land (from Mexico and Spain and the American Indians) to expand.
      We in the southwest were at one time flooded with your teeming masses of immigrants from the east. all wanted gold, free land or slaves.
      Read your history, pilgrim, and don't assume the southwest and Florida have always been the U.S.'

      February 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chung

      Agree. The current contingent isn't getting the job done. New rule should be...you cross over in any other way other than via a legit crossing, then we use machine guns and dogs (make sure not to get the dogs of course). What part of "illegal" don't people understand. And as my cousin said when showing me where to live in TX...don't live in an area with a lot of mexicants because they "just ruin the place".

      February 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Magnum

      Any culture of "poor" ruins the country they live in. It's a blight from the inside out. Illegals are our enemy. I love how Mexicans say we as Americans "took their land" as the Spanish did the same thing. If illegals want their own land, take back the Yucatan and make some more pyramids to live in. Sorry- all the land was taken by someone or some race everywhere. That argument makes no sense. California may be "going back" to the Mexicans, but California is being ruined by them at the same time. Uneducated and poor cultures do a culture make.

      February 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Your gardner

      Who would you hire for your gardening needs? Or to sleep with your wife when you're gone?

      February 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jams

      There's a basic lack of human decency in this comment thread. The negative stereotype of Mexicans is shaped by an undeserved feeling of basic superiority, and by an unfortunate illusion of demographics. Fleeing over the border is dangerous and difficult – for the most part, this is only attempted by unfortunate individuals with no better option than to risk the dogs, guns, and deportation. What you have confused for Mexicans are actually refugees from parts of the nation wracked by intense poverty and gang warfare. You see only the poorest and least educated, who grew up with the fewest advantages. Why don't you put yourself in that position, and see how well you fare?

      February 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      jams you identify the problem in the same sentence you deny it. i think everyone is in agreement with you that these are poor and uneducated refugees with little to offer other than labor at slave wages and an increased crime rate

      February 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • malibu1369

      No, we should hire the Somali Pirates to patrol our border. I bet they will confiscate both the drugs and the crossers. Then again, they will ask for lots of money to turn them over to law enforcement so the Feds can deport the crossers and keep the drugs in evidence lockers for years... But I bet the Somali Pirates would work for less...

      February 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve the Pirate

    Their shirts look nothing like Seinfelds...

    February 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • cosmo

      Kramer: You'll be the first modern-day pirate, Jerry!
      Seinfeld: But I don't want to be a pirate!

      February 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denvercherub


      February 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Katie

    Oh well...

    February 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Erin

    who cares if they're kids...if they're going to shoot a gun at someone else in that manner then they deserve the punishment

    February 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
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