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Somali pirates sentenced to five years in Dutch prison

Somali pirates have been sentenced to five years in a Dutch prison in the first piracy case to be tried in an European court.

By Associated Press / June 17, 2010

Somali pirates are sentenced to five years each in a Dutch prison. A file photo of a May 18 courtroom sketch shows five suspected Somali pirates attending a hearing in a Rotterdam court.

AFP PHOTO / JAN HENSEMA / Newscom

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Rotterdam, Netherlands

A Dutch court has convicted five Somalis of piracy and sentenced them to five years each in prison in the first piracy case to come to trial in Europe.

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The five were convicted of attacking a freight ship in the Gulf of Aden in January 2009.

Prosecutors asked for a seven-year sentence, but the judge said he took into account the difficult conditions in Somalia that led the men to piracy.

"It is a lucky coincidence that nobody was killed or wounded" in the attack, said judge Klein Wolterink.

Other Somali piracy suspects are being held in France, Spain, Germany and the U.S.

Kenya has convicted 18 pirates since 2007. More than 100 await trial there.

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