Freed Suspected Somali Pirates Sue Denmark for Unlawful Detention

Last year, the Danish Navy thought a Somali boat was approaching the Ely Maersk, a Danish merchant vessel off the coast of Somalia, shot at it and arrested the occupants. They were brought to Denmark to face piracy charges. They were appointed counsel. The Danish Prosecutor For Special International Criminal Cases decided not to file charges and released the men back to Somalia.

The Danish counsel for the men has now sued for damages for unlawful detention and the destruction of their boat and property.

The Danish Navy's Esbern Snare has seized 200 suspected pirates, all of whom were later released. "Somali pirates are currently holding some 28 international vessels and 587 hostages."

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    Quit arresting these guys. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:25:38 AM EST
    Sink their boats and move on. Hope they can swim. OK, throw'em a life ring.

    And Hope (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:42:28 PM EST
    They weren't out fishing or traveling or the other thousand reason one might be on a boat in the Ocean.  Who cares if there are babies, old people, Americans, or scientists on board.

    Great idea, sink all boats and you eliminate pirating.  Let's kill all white men in American and eliminate serial killers, corporate embezzlers, and nearly all child molesters.


    who said anything about (none / 0) (#36)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:08:45 AM EST
    sinking all boats?? I think most navies of the world came delineate between fisherman and scientists and guys with RPGs and AK-47s.

    Unless Those are Illegal... (none / 0) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:17:55 PM EST
    ... on international waters, and they aren't, what is your point ?

    If you have an RPG's on a boat, you are fair game, even if you are delivering them to the US Military ?

    Your arguement boils down to profiling.  

    If you look like what American's think pirates look like, the Navies of the world are free to reign down terror even if no crime has been committed.


    Oh please . . . (none / 0) (#43)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 08:35:38 AM EST
    Get real. You sound like a whiny two year old creating numerous what if's.

    Somehow I don't believe any semi-intelligent person believes that the US military is taking delivery of weapons of any sort from small craft off the coast of Somalia. Somehow most people (obviously you are not of that group) could safely assume, considering the number of vessels currently being held captive and the number of pirates operating, that any small craft loaded with guys with AKs and RPGs are NOT the local welcome wagon and or friendly UPS service delivering neato peachy keeno weaponry. The safe bet would be that they are up to no good and there to do you harm. Me, if I had the means, would blow them out of water, no questions asked, no prisoners, no trials. I don't begrudge any military or commercial vessel who does the same.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#15)
    by Raskolnikov on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:24:57 PM EST
    No sympathy for pirates.  Except the resident TL crew of course ;)

    You lose all your pirate cred when you (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by tigercourse on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:53:10 AM EST
    sue someone in court.

    That's like having a Hun put a lien on someone's property.

    Arrrrrr. (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 12:00:37 PM EST
    But ye gains lawyer cred, matey.

    Why don't sharks bite lawyers?


    They don't eat their own (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 12:18:49 PM EST

    I feel a new David E. Kelly show coming. (none / 0) (#5)
    by tigercourse on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 12:24:39 PM EST
    Bobby Donnell: Pirate Lawyer.

    Now that I think about it, a show about a lawyer who travels from country to country on a sailboat might actually work.


    I'm thinking it is going to be a movie (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:07:53 PM EST
    starring Matthew McConaughey.

    Will he wear a ruffled pirate shirt? (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:11:52 PM EST
    I'm thinking (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:31:28 PM EST
    Johnny Depp- the quintessential movie pirate.  Although McConaughey would work, too.  Either way, eye candy for the ladies.   ;-)

    I'm thinking the pirate lawyer (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:56:53 PM EST
    is a lawyer for pirates, not a lawyer that is a pirate. But I like Depp as the main pirate defendant or plaintiff.

    Shirts optional.


    Looks like Tom Hanks is set to play (none / 0) (#17)
    by republicratitarian on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:38:29 PM EST
    I'm thinking (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:23:01 PM EST
    the pirate lawyer's sailboat would come under attack by rogue pirates* and he'd find himself hoisted on a yardarm, walking the plank, or blown up by a pirate petard.

    *note: have we now come to the point where we have pirates that aren't rouge?


    Or (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:24:37 PM EST
    Rogue..too much Sarah makeup I guess

    Would that be (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:32:03 PM EST
    rogue rouge?

    Seriously (none / 0) (#33)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:41:03 PM EST
    its the pirate equivalent of filming a family movie as far as street cred goes (hey Ice Cube)-- lucrative but not in keeping with your whole ethos.

    Something not quite right about (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:38:52 PM EST
    pirates suing for illegal search and seizure.

    Same as (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:48:51 PM EST
    Those people who break into homes, get injured, and then sue the homeowners.

    Not Even Close (none / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:33:46 PM EST
    Their only 'crime' was proximity to the Ely Maersk, and I suspect being Somalian didn't help.

    They weren't in/on a home/ship, trying to get into/onto one, or even being on anyone's property or jurisdiction.

    What crime did they commit ?


    General concept (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:44:25 PM EST
    How General ? (none / 0) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:56:17 PM EST
    For all we know these guys were fishing.

    They were arrested, their property destroyed, taken to another country bu the military, and released.

    How is that generally the same concept as a bugler in your home who injures himself ?  


    Any bugler that comes into my house, Scott (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:26:44 PM EST
    had better come with a mute for his bugle, or else be prepared to play Taps.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:59:07 PM EST
    Maybe I don't understand the English language, but in this context, a pirate someone who commits piracy.

    And maybe I don't understand maritime law, but it isn't it illegal to go near a commercial freight ship.

    My point is these guys aren't pirates in the eyes of the law, so the state had no right to detain them.

    Conceptually it would be the same if your burglar drove by your house, you arrested them, blew up their car, transported them to another state, put them in jail, filed no charges, and then let them go.

    The seas and the streets are not private and looking suspicious is not illegal.


    Not the same as a possible burglar driving by (none / 0) (#35)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:44:49 PM EST
    because the law of the high seas is not domestic law, and the captain of a ship has law enforcement and self-defense powers (as you might expect, since s/he can't exactly call the police) that a homeowner does not -- more nearly military in nature.

    Peter (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:23:14 PM EST
    But that power starts on the bow and ends at the stern of the vessel, there is no perimeter beyond the steel of his ship.

    And as far as calling the police, he called the Dutch Navy and I forget if it was a private helicopter or a military helicopter, but they also came to his rescue.

    But you missed the point, neither the drive-by burglar or the 'pirates' did anything wrong.


    The general concept that oculus posited (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:58:05 PM EST
    Something not quite right about (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:38:52 PM EST

    pirates suing for illegal search and seizure

    JB (none / 0) (#39)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:29:29 PM EST
    I also have the ability to copy and paste, doing it repeatedly is something my non existent 5 year old might do to irritate me.

    I get it, but the flaw of the quote you find so point on is the word pirate.  Same as me calling you a drug dealer even though you have never been charged with a drug related crime, mush less convicted.

    They are not pirates in any sense of the word, making the quote rather dumb, there is no irony.


    Although these are "alleged" pirates (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:16:35 PM EST
    who were never charged.  Strike that.

    Presumption of Innocence ? (none / 0) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:20:15 PM EST
    Jeralyn.  How many commenters have you reminded/scolded over one of one of your core beliefs, the presumption of innocence ?

    Yet, the subject line indicates the Somalians are pirates, even though no charges were filed.  

    Which leads me to my real point, which is directed to most of the commenters.  These guys weren't even charged, much less convicted of any crime.  Yet people are wanting to murder them, destroy the property, and a whole host cruel and over the top non-sense.

    What really pains me is if these were suspected drug dealers whose house was destroyed by the DEA, the same commenters would be lined up crying foul and applauding the law suit.

    It's a joke son (none / 0) (#21)
    by Rojas on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:19:26 PM EST
    Well Pops (none / 0) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:00:37 PM EST
    Jokes were made, but there is definitely serious advocating of injury and death.

    My point was the flippant attitudes aren't found in other posts regarding innocent people.


    Round up the usual suspects (none / 0) (#25)
    by Rojas on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:05:58 PM EST
    And Walk the Plank They Will (none / 0) (#27)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:30:05 PM EST
    I have a few in mind (none / 0) (#29)
    by Rojas on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:58:57 PM EST
    although I'm feeling mighty sick

    you're right (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:20:05 PM EST
    I didn't check the title. I just updated to add the word "suspected." It was an oversight, it happens. I didn't mean to suggest they really were pirates.

    Chutzpah (none / 0) (#28)
    by diogenes on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:10:03 PM EST
    Read the link and tell me that there wasn't at least reasonable cause for suspicion by the Danes.
    From the linked article:
    "When Danish personnel approached their boat, the Somalis threw effects overboard. No fishing equipment was found in the boat, prompting the unit to believe they had been preparing an assault on the Elly Maersk.
    The Maersk vessel had raised the alarm and was assisted by a helicopter from the command and support vessel Esbern Snare, which unsuccessfully attempted to stop the Somalis, who continued towards the Danish merchant vessel, using smoke buoys. The boat was eventually stopped with a single shot into its engine and the men were eventually detained in the Esbern Snare's brig on charges of suspected piracy."

    Yup, And the NOPD... (none / 0) (#32)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:11:44 PM EST
    ... makes similar claims everyday about black guys.

    My point isn't whether they were pirates, it's whether they committed any crime.

    Sorry, but as much as I would like to see an end of pirating, it is simply wrong to arrest people on suspicion of a crime they might commit.  


    At the same time (none / 0) (#34)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:42:40 PM EST
    given the area- allowing a small fishing craft to approach your vessel is just dumb.

    So is Detaining People... (none / 0) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:45:18 PM EST
    ... who haven't committed a crime.  Not to mention destroying their property and hauling them to another country.

    When pulling into any port, there are hundreds, if not thousands of small fishing vessels approaching all ships, are they fair game as well or do you have some sort of map outlining when it's OK to destroy suspicious boats.  A description of suspicious boats would be useful as well.

    I get it, these guys are trying to protect their persons and property, but they just can't randomly do what they want because of that fear.  Sooner or later, one of them is going to kill kids or a family or maybe even some Americans, it's why we have rules and laws, so people do don't whatever they want.

    The problem is and will always be the bad guys don't play by those rules, but that still doesn't mean the the rest of us shouldn't.  Those rule are in place to protect us, not harm us, and just because they aren't 100% effective doesn't mean we should scrap them for anarchy on the high seas.


    aproaching boat... (none / 0) (#41)
    by diogenes on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:13:58 PM EST
    Why exactly was the boat approaching the Danish boat?  Were they lost at sea?  Were they going to offer the Danes flowers and expressions of good-will?  Was the Somali boat filled with Jehovah's Witnesses who wanted to spread the word?