22 May 2011

Summary of the 18 May 2011 court date

Prof Matthies, the German Somalia "expert" was on the stand again and questioned by the defence. To start with, the judge declines an application by the defence to have some additional info which was introduced by Matthies translated into Somali. The reason being that the language of teh court is German. Later on, Somali is spoken in court because the microphones and headphones fail.

Matthies revises some fo his statements from last time and admits that anyone growing up in Somalia would like be traumatised. The questions by the defence prompt him to give a more complete picture of Somalia than his origianl account. When asked for a historic parallel of the situation in Somalia, Matthies mentions the 30-year war. He says that piracy is partially in the hand of the clans and that press gangs might be operating from Kenia.

The defence applies to hear the mother and sister of the accused whose brother was killed – decision reserved.

There had been a request by the court to the Dutch prosecution to provide the videos of the interrogations on the Tromp was declined because it would put the Dutch officers at risk.

And finally the application for bail for one of the younger accused was declined due to flight risk.