Paris court convicts 5 Somali pirates

AP News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2011 2:17 PM
Paris court convicts 5 Somali pirates

A Paris court has convicted five of six Somali pirates on trial for hijacking a sailboat off the African country's coast and kidnapping its two-person crew in the Gulf of Aden three years ago.

In the first verdict of its kind in France, the court handed down sentences Wednesday of between four and eight years behind bars against the five, while charges were dropped against a sixth defendant.

They were on trial over the hijacking of the sailboat, Carre d'As, in September 2008 and taking its husband-and-wife crew hostage. A French navy team raided the vessel two weeks later, killing one captor and detaining six others.

The case was heard in a Paris court for minors because one of the defendants was a minor at the time of the attack.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PARIS (AP) _ Six Somali men being tried in a Paris court for allegedly hijacking a sailboat have apologized to the husband-and-wife crew they're charged with having taken hostage.

In remarks Wednesday, one of the men wished the couple a long life, while another asked for forgiveness.

The couple, Jean-Yves and Bernadette Delanne, shook hands with the defendants before the court adjourned. A verdict in the case is expected later Wednesday.

The prosecutor asked the court to sentence the men to between six and 16 years in prison.

The Delannes were en route to France from Australia when their sailboat, Carre d'As, was boarded Sept. 2, 2008. French navy commandos raided the vessel two weeks later, killing one captor and detaining six others.