French Defence Minister Herve Morin asked authorities on the Seychelles yesterday to prosecute suspected pirates operating in the Indian Ocean.
Bringing to justice suspected Somali pirates captured by international navies in the Indian Ocean has proven difficult as lawless Somalia cannot try them, while most European countries do not want to take in a pirate who may then claim asylum.
Earlier this month, eleven suspected Somali pirates were captured after they tried to attack French tuna boats. They were released shortly after due to a lack of evidence.
On a trip to the Seychelles, Morin told reporters he had asked authorities to set up a legal system allowing for the trial of such suspects.
But Joel Morgan, the Seychelles minister in charge of environment, resources and transport, said the island lacked resources.
“We have a single prison here, for some 300 people, so taking in a large number of Somalis can cause problems with capacity,” he said.
France is protecting its tuna fleet off the Seychelles by deploying marines on the civilian ships. Morin said that mission would be extended into next year.
Pic: Seychelles island