Pirates on trial: Somali suspects could be hauled to UK to stand trial
Saturday, 02 June 2012 | 00:00
Pirates accused of kidnapping a British couple off Somalia could be hauled to the UK to stand trial.Paul and Rachel Chandler were seized from their yacht and held in Africa for a year before being freed after a ransom of up to £620,000 was reportedly paid.
Now Government lawyers here are working with Interpol to arrest and extradite the Somali gang, who are in custody in neighbouring Kenya.
It would be highly unusual for suspects to be extradited back to the UK for a crime committed overseas.
But both the Home and Foreign Office are keen to take a firm stance on pirates running amok off east Africa.
A source close to Paul, 61, and Rachel, 57, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said: “The family have been told that officials are keen the kidnappers do not go unpunished.
"Paul and Rachel have doubts about whether the gang would ever be brought to justice if a trial went ahead in Africa.”
The men accused of being the armed bandits who boarded the Chandlers’ boat near the Seychelles in 2009 are being tried in Kenya for an attack on a French ship.
Paul has told MPs: “I’d like to see them prosecuted by the UK authorities.”
A Parliamentary report has said Britain’s failure to prosecute any Somali pirates due to lack of evidence “beggars belief”.
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