News24

Somalis to face piracy trial in Rome

2012-02-20 22:20

Rome - A court has ordered nine Somali men to stand trial in Rome next month on charges of piracy for an alleged attack on an Italian cargo vessel off Somalia in October.

British and United States forces, patrolling the waters as part of a counter-piracy task force, freed the MV Montecristo in a dramatic rescue, and handed the alleged assailants over to Italian authorities.

The ship had been hauling scrap iron to Vietnam when it was attacked.

Judge Valerio Savio on Monday set the trial date for March 23, the first such trial in Italy. Charges include piracy and the detention of war weapons for terrorism.

The British Defence Ministry had said that a "large cache" of weapons was seized, including rocket-propelled grenades.