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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Pirates change plea, become "suspected" pirates

The Jakarta Post says Suspected Indonesian pirates change plea over attempted robbery
Ten Indonesians who had pleaded guilty to gang robbery on a ship in Malaysian waters changed their plea to not guilty on Sunday, just before they were about to be sentenced for the crime.

The suspected pirates claimed they had not fully understood the charge against them when their plea was recorded in the Sessions Court on June 28, the national news agency Bernama reported.

All of them had previously pleaded guilty to gang robbery on board the oil tanker Nepline Delima in the pirate-infested Malacca Strait between peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia's Sumatra island June 14.

The suspects had been nabbed by Malaysian marine police before they managed to escape from the vessel.
Let's see, caught on the ship, several eyewitnesses ... I can't wait to hear the defense argument..

More on the act of "sea robbery" that got them charged here and in the links therein. and here. Ship's captain interview here
Capt Sasongko suffered slash wounds and bruises as the pirates lost patience with him when he was slow to react to their orders.

“They beat me up and left me naked. They forced me on to the bridge to make an announcement through the PA system asking my 18 crewmembers to surrender. I was in tears when I made the announcement.

“What hurt most was when I found out later through the police that two of my crewmembers were in cohorts with the pirates,” he said.
The suspected pirates may want to rethink their pleas yet again...

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