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Kenya can try Somali pirates, appeal court says

French navy logistics ship La Somme sailing in the Red Sea.

NAIROBI, Kenya: Kenya's Court of Appeal says the country's courts have jurisdiction to try Somali pirates caught on international waters.

In 2010, the High Court ruled that Kenyan courts can only deal with offenses that take place within the territorial jurisdiction of the country.

On Thursday The Court of Appeal said universal jurisdiction allowed all states to prosecute pirates despite location of the offense and nationality of perpetrators. The judges say piracy off the coast of Somalia has affected economies of many nations, including Kenya, and they must ensure criminals have no safe haven.

The international community has depended on countries like Kenya and the Seychelles to prosecute pirates who attack off East Africa. Somalia has been in conflict for two decades, and piracy is one of few opportunities to make money.

 

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