SA hostages being evaluated before trial

2012-09-05 22:28
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Durban - South African couple Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz are being evaluated to see if they can face some of the Somali pirates who took them hostage, East Coast Radio Newswatch (ECRN) reported on Wednesday.

Calitz told ECRN a report from the Pretoria psychologist would be submitted to the judge dealing with the case in the Netherlands.

"They need that, just to see that we are competent enough, that we will be able to testify. So that's what we're busy doing at the moment. Once that is done, then we can go through and everything will be in order," she said.

The two intended travelling to the Netherlands in October to testify in the trial of five suspected pirates. They were part of group of 20 men arrested by the Dutch navy at the end of 2010.

Pelizzari and Calitz were held hostage for 20 months in Somalia. They were released and returned to South Africa two months ago.

Calitz believed she would be able to face her former captors.

"Definitely I'll be able to. This has made me a much better person, coming out of whatever happened to me in Somalia. Since I've been back, my answers are so different. I am a different person, completely. A much better person."

She said the couple would be leaving for Dar es Salaam on Sunday, where they would repair their boat. She intended heading back to South Africa a few days later to give her first motivational talk.

Once they had testified in the Netherlands, Pelizzari would leave for Tanzania. Calitz had planned a visit with her daughter in Scotland, ECRN reported.

Her book, based on their hostage ordeal, was due out later this year.

- SAPA
Read more on:    bruno pelizzari  |  debbie calitz  |  sa  |  somalia  |  the netherlands  |  pirates
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