Pontus Marine LTD- Leader of fishing industry in Somaliland

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pirates demand Spain send detainees to Somalia

Pirates demand Spain send detainees to Somalia
MADRID, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Somali pirates holding the crew of a Spanish fishing vessel hostage have called for two pirates held in Spain to be extradited to Somalia for trial, a family member of one of the crew said on Saturday.

"The latest news we have is that they (the pirates) have contacted the (shipping) company and are asking for the two pirates held in Madrid to be extradited to Somalia," the family member said.
"They are not to be set free, but to be tried there," she said at a rally in support of the 36-strong crew's families in Bermeo in the Basque country, where the tuna boat Alakrana is based.
The pirates had previously said they would not negotiate a ransom for the release of the vessel until the two Somalis had been freed.
Spain's Ambassador to Kenya Nicolas Martin Cinto was to meet Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke in Nairobi on Sunday to discuss the the Alakrana, Spanish radio quoted Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos as saying.
Late on Friday, Moratinos said three crew members taken ashore on Thursday from the Alakrana, moored in the port of Haradere, had not been harmed despite pirates' threats to kill them unless the two Somalis held in Spain were freed.
"We understand they were taken back to the ship yesterday. The pirates cannot kill them because they are their bargaining chips. You cannot destroy your bargaining chips because you will be destroying your bargaining power," Andrew Mwangura of Kenya-based East Africa Seafarers' Association told Reuters on Saturday. (Reporting by Judy MacInnes; additional reporting by Nairobi newsdesk; editing by Andrew Roche)
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