The crew of Russia’s Frigate Admiral Panteleyev does not know what to do with 29 Somali pirates that were seized near Somali coast on April 28. The situation is legally and diplomatically hopeless. It is quite possible that the pirates will have to be judged in Russia, news agencies say.
Russia does not have an agreement with the countries of the African region about the delivery of piracy suspects. Britain and the USA, for example, have such a document with Kenya. It is impossible to deliver the captured pirates – most of them the Somalis - even to the government of Somali since Russia does not have its embassy in the country, The Vremya Novostei newspaper wrote.
“One has to acknowledge that many legal and practical issues remain unsolved here,” Andrei Nesterenko, an official spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.
If the frigate is unable to fix the problem with its “trophy” in one of the African states, the vessel will have to deliver the pirates to Russia. Russia is entitled to judge them in conformity with its laws. If it happens, the Somalis may face from 5 to 15 years in prison. However, there is not enough evidence to prove that the pirates attacked the NS Commander tanker. All of them can therefore be released.
Frigate Admiral Panteleyev seized the boat with 29 pirates on April 28. There were seven Kalashnikov assault rifles, guns, aluminium ladders, navigation equipment, back-up fuel tanks and many empty cartridge cases found in the boat.
The crew of the Russian vessel concluded that the pirates had made a number of attempts to seize the NS Commander tanker that was transporting crude to Singapore.