Somali pirate tries to go to Germany as refugee, gets twelve years in jail

The Marida Marguerite, seized by pirates in 2010

A German court has jailed a Somali pirate for 12 years over his role in the hijacking of a tanker in 2010. The man later tried to come to Germany as a refugee.

The 44-year-old man, who was not named, was found guilty of kidnapping and extortion charges on Thursday by a court in the north-western city of Osnabrück. The case was in relation to the May 2010 attack of the Marshall Islands-flagged ship Marida Marguerite by Somali pirates, off the coast of Oman.

The ship and its 22 crew-member hostages were eventually released in December of that year, after the German shipping company that owned the tanker paid a $5.5 million (€3.97 million) ransom.

“After four months of extensive evidence gathering, the court is convinced that the 44-year-old Somali was a leading member of the pirates who kidnapped a chemical tanker,” the court said in a statement.

During the ordeal, the mostly Indian crew suffered “cruel treatment, torture and mock executions.” The court said a shot was fired next to the captain’s head, the chief engineer was handcuffed and suspended by a pipe, and some crew had their genitals tied with cable binders.

The court said the accused received a significant part of the ransom money. He was arrested in May 2013 when he sought asylum while at a refugee camp in the city of Giessen. He was identified by his fingerprints, taken from the vessel and from documents left on board by the pirates…