25 March 2012

Somali Music in the Harbour

Today, Somali music could be heard at the Hamburg waterfront. This was the music, the ten accused in the trial would love to hear, but are having difficulty to get, due to the bureaucratic process of getting music into prison (the CDs have to come from a certified supplier, which are companies who don't usually carry Somali music).

The music was part of a rally with the slogan “Laden tables instead of armed conflicts”. The purpose was to draw attention to the situation in Somalia and the background of piracy. The latest development in the trial has meant that the trial will last even longer, and the attention is focussed on the admissions made by one of the defendants. The aspect of what has lead to the events on the Taipan are even less considered now than before.

The weather was fine and over a thousand flyers were handed out to passers-by. There were also 'Somali Fish-burgers' – dry bread buns with no fish, reflecting the situation in Somalia. Instead they contained a paper fish that read “This fish has been illegally taken by European fish trawlers”.

Speeches were held on the trial, the EU military operation ATALANTA and on the background of the music that was played.

23 March 2012

Fishing Import Company in the Harbour of Hamburg

4 words that are used for advertisement but say so much truth.
Supporting the somali fishermen to be able to fish again in peace in the somalian seas and be able to
suport their families, would be one of the peacefull solutions.

no Trial Monday 26.3.12- new trial days

Also on Monday the 26.3. the trial will not take place, due to sickness of one of the acused.
next trial dates:

05.04. -82 day trial!
16.04. -83 day
24.04.- 84 day
27.04.- 85 day

02.05.- 86 day
04.05.- 87 day
07.05.- 88 day
08.05.- 89 day
10.05.- 90 day
22.05.- 91 day
23.05.- 92 day
24.05. -93 day trial........

21 March 2012

Day 80 – The interrogation continues

Day 80 – The interrogation continues

Court Report day 80, 19 March 2012

The judge continued his interrogation of the the accused who had made a confession on 29 February. The judge went through the entire chain of events, from the time the accused gathered on the dhow Hudhud to them being captured by the Dutch navy.

Several times the defendant said that he didn't want to answer the question, but the judge pretended to not have understood what he had said and asked the same question again, sometimes three or four times, until he had the answer he wanted. At times it seemed that the judge was using the defendant as a sparring partner to perfect his interrogation technique.

With his statements, the defendant continued to indict the other accused.

Towards the end of the long day, the judge read out the German translation of the letter the defendant had sent to him. Here is a small section of it:
I have decided to help the court. The court and the state have been led astray. I want to tell the truth. The truth will achieve justice. [addressed at the judges and the jury] I am convinced that you are doing an honest job.
The reason why I haven't made a statement earlier was that my family had been in difficulties due to the statement I had made visa-vis the Dutch.
The judge then asked more questions regarding the letter. At the very end, the accused said he wanted to clarify one last thing: that his pistol had been loaded.

To appreciate the significance of this statement, one has to recall that he had declared in his statement on 29 February, that his pistol (unlike everyone else's guns) had not been loaded and upon being questioned by the judge had said that he did not have ammunition for the pistol.

The judge will continue to question the accused for another hour or so at the next court date, Friday, 23 March (8 am start). After that the prosecution might ask questions and then the other defence lawyers.

20 March 2012

A laden table instead of armed conflicts

After 80 days in the so-called 'Piracy Trial', there is no land in sight. Background information on the connection between fish theft, waste dumps, military missions and piracy at the Horn of Africa.

Waxaan u bahanahay cunto ee uma baahnin hub

Sunday, 25 March, 3:30pm – at the waterfront, near metro station Landungsbrücken (U3), Hamburg.

18 March 2012

New Trial Dates

The court has decided on new trial dates, up to the end of May. Start time is 8 am.

March 2012
Mon, 19.03.
Fri, 23.03.
Mon, 26.03.

April 2012
Thu, 05.04.
Mon, 16.04.
Wed, 18.04.
Tue, 24.04.
Fri, 27.04.

May 2012
Wed, 02.05.
Fri, 04.05.
Mon, 07.05.
Tue, 08.05.
Thu, 10.05.
Tue, 22.05.
Wed, 23.05.
Thu, 24.05.

09 March 2012

Evening about the trial at the German Seemans Mission in Hamburg.

On the 6 th March an evening took place in the Seemans Mission in Hamburg . Organised from Center for Mission and Ökumene -Nord Church worlwide- Brücke-Ökumenisches Forum Hafencity-Eine Welt Netzwerk Hamburg.

 Pirates in Hamburg: ready to prosecute?

The diskussion was moderated by Frank Engelbrecht Priester of the Main Church St. Katharinen. Present were:  Somali Journalist Mustafa Harun, The seemans Diakon of the Seemansclub Duckdalben in the Hamburg Harbour, R.Dohrn from No one is illegal, A.Friedetzy an  observer of the trial. A very mixed publik among it at least 2 kaptains of big cargo vessels still crossing the horn of Afrika regularly. 
Their huge boats are fast and not in danger to be captured.

The beste dialogue of the evening was when Somali Journalist M.Harun asked the German Kaptain, where his shipingcompany pays taxes for crossing the somalian waters.The Kaptain had before told that they always go  near to the somali coast. The answer of the Kaptain came loud :"Your country has no goverment since 20 years!  
So i dont have to pay taxes to anybody."
Exactly the same argument that the court uses to deny to hear witnesses from Somalia.

03 March 2012

Frigates and Solidarity in the Harbour

While the German navy today proudly presented two frigates to the public in Hamburg with an 'open ship' day, a group of activists took the opportunity to alert the public to the connection between these frigates, the Atalanta mission, European strategic interests and the current 'piracy' trial. The activists handed out leaflets and unfolded a banner demanding the release of the ten accused Somali.

01 March 2012

Day 79 - The judge wants to know more

The day after one of the accused made extensive statements, indicting most of his co-accused, he was questioned by the judge.

For every statement the accused had made the day before, the judge wanted to know more, wanted to get more indictments out of him. On several occasions, the judge kept repeating the same question over and over, ignoring the answer that was given, until the defendant either gave the answer the judge wanted to hear, or refused to answer. Objections by his lawyer were immediately overruled. There were only two options: either to provide more indictments, or to look bad himself by refusing to answer. It seems that there will be only one winner here - the prosecution.

Court was adjourned until 19 March, due to a lack of available time by everyone involved. No doubt, the judge will then proceed to interview the other accused on the points that were raised in the last couple of days. It is totally unclear at the moment, how the trial will proceed and when it might finish.

Day 78 in a few words

Today, one of the defendants made an extensive statement about the attack on the Taipan, naming his co-accused in their alleged roles, while he himself was only the translator. This comes at a time when the proceedings against five of the accused had already been terminated and only the closing addresses were still to be heard. The court has now reversed the decision to split the trial, so all ten accused are back together because this statement affects all of them. Also still to come are the Indian witnesses from the dhow HudHud, who will also give evidence about the events.

The hearing was adjourned early due to the illness of one of the defendants.