Published: Tuesday March 15, 2011 MYT 3:27:00 PM
Somali piratesí case: Prosecution gets time to gather evidence
KUALA LUMPUR: The Magistrate's Court on Tuesday allowed an application by the prosecution for time to enable the police to obtain all the necessary evidence in the case of the seven Somali nationals charged with shooting at Malaysian armed forces personnel in the Gulf of Aden.
Magistrate Siti Shakirah Mohtarudin set April 14 for fresh mention after Deputy Public Prosecutor Najib Zakaria applied for a period of one month for the investigating officers to gather the evidence from a merchant vessel which is still operating in the Gulf of Aden.
Ahmad Othman Jamal, 25, Abdil Eid Hasan, 20, Koore Mohamad Abdile, 18, Abdi Hakim Mohd Abdi, 18, and three underage Somalis have been charged with shooting at a Malaysian armed forces team on board the MT Bunga Laurel in their attempt to rob the merchant vessel, with the intention to cause death or harm, about 250 nautical miles from the waters of Oman on Jan 20 this year.
The charge was read out to the accused through a Somali interpreter, student Mohamoud Mohamed Ahmed of the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University (KLMU).
The accused nodded that they understood the charge, made under Section 3 of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971 that carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction. However, no plea was recorded.
All the accused, who were not represented, were first charged in the same court on Feb 11.
On Jan 20, Royal Malaysian Navy commandos came to the aid of MT Bunga Laurel under attack by Somali pirates armed with AK-47 rifles and pistols in a rescue operation codenamed "Fajar" conducted with the help of a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) vessel, Bunga Mas 5. - Bernama
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