x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Somali pirates who hijacked UAE ship 'did not mean any harm'

Ten Somali pirates who hijacked the UAE ship MV-Arrilah in April last year did not mean any harm, their defence lawyer told a court yesterday.

ABU DHABI // Ten Somali pirates who hijacked the UAE ship MV-Arrilah in April last year did not mean any harm, their defence lawyer told a court yesterday.

The men are appealing the life sentences handed out by the Federal Primary Court.

Their lawyer, Nashwa Al Kubaissi, said the men came from poor societies where people were prone to being tricked by criminals into carrying out certain acts.

She also emphasised that two of the pirates were juveniles.

"They had rocket propelled grenades with them which they could have used to attack the troops but they did not," she said, noting that none of the crew members were seriously hurt in the attack.

The two men who masterminded the hijacking operation have escaped, so the case was missing vital elements and evidence.

Ms Al Kubaissi also questioned whether the proper permits had been obtained before the arrest of the 10 men. The case was adjourned to January 21.

hdajani@thenational.ae