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    Somalis Face South Korean Court on Hijacking Charges


    by NTDTelevision

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    Suspected Somali pirates are on trial in South Korea today... for hijacking a South Korean vessel back in January. The alleged pirates were stopped during a commando raid, saving all 21 crew members on board.

    Four of five suspected Somali pirates appeared in court in the South Korean port city of Busan on Monday. They face charges of hijacking a South Korean vessel on January 15.

    The five suspects were captured in a commando raid that freed the tanker Samho Jewelry, and rescued all 21 crew members.

    Local media say four cases will be heard before judge and a jury with a verdict expected on Friday.

    The other suspect will be questioned separately on Tuesday and sentenced on June 1st.

    South Korean television station KBS says the Korean jurors will deliver their verdict to a presiding judge, but the decision will not carry legal biding force.

    Their verdict will serve as an advisory statement.

    The vessel, en route to Sri Lanka from the United Arab Emirates was highjacked on January 15.

    The South Korean Navy commando rescue took place on January 21st.

    Eight hijackers were killed in the fighting and the ship's captain was shot and wounded.