Europe

Ten alleged Somali pirates face trial in Germany

Convoy transferring alleged Somali pirates to Germany, 10 Jun 10
Image caption Dutch handover: It is not yet clear when the 10 Somalis will go on trial

Ten alleged Somali pirates extradited from the Netherlands are awaiting trial in the north German city of Hamburg.

The handover took place on the Dutch-German border on Thursday.

The 10, who include a teenager, were captured by Dutch navy commandos after an attack on a German cargo ship, MV Taipan, off the Somali coast in April.

Prosecutors are expected to charge the 10 with hijacking. German media say it will be the first ever trial of suspected Somali pirates in Germany.

Earlier a judge in Amsterdam ruled that while the Netherlands had the power to try the men, it was not sufficient grounds for refusing extradition to Germany.

Defence lawyers argued that the attacked ship had been registered in the Bahamas and not in Germany as was claimed.

The MV Taipan was seized some 900 km (560 miles) east of the Somali coast in early April.

The Dutch navy frigate Tromp - patrolling the waters as part of an EU anti-piracy operation - responded to a distress signal from the Taipan.

Commandos abseiled from a Lynx helicopter onto the ship after learning that the crew had locked themselves in a bullet-proof room. All the crew were released unharmed, although one soldier was slightly injured.