19 October 2012

Emotional words in court

Court Report Day 104 – 17 October 2012

The last closing addresses and emotional words from the accused.

The last closing addresses were given by the lawyers for one of the under-age accused. They largely followed the arguments of their predecessors but also stressed that the trial had officially been a youth trial. However this did not show during the trial.

Then the accused each made a personal statement. They all spoke about their families, their situation in Somalia, hunger and war and what drove them to participate in the attack on the Taipan, for which they apologised.

They talked about how desperate their were in custody not being able to help their families. “Without the help of my lawyers, my family wouldn't be alive anymore,” said one of them.

Some talked about how they have been thinking about suicide.

They all seemed to be afraid of the future, when they might be imprisoned. “I won't have a lawyer then,” said one of them.

One of the accused caused a stir when he told the court that the 'crown witness' had taken control of the Taipan. The defence of another accused asked the court to investigate this statement, which would have meant re-opening the trial. The court rejected the application.

On Friday, 19 October, the trial will in all likelihood finish and the verdict and sentences will be passed.