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Pirates: Kenya

Volume 706: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the suspected pirates apprehended by HMS Cumberland on 11 November and transferred to Kenyan custody were apprehended in Kenyan waters or had committed any offence against Kenyan persons or property. [HL471]

The suspected pirates apprehended by HMS “Cumberland” on 11 November were apprehended in international waters and had not, as far as we are aware, committed any offences against Kenyan persons or property. Kenya is nevertheless affected by piracy in the Gulf region and is keen to assist international efforts to counter piracy.

The UK requested assistance from Kenya, a regional state with which we have an excellent international relationship, and we were able to swiftly conclude arrangements enabling us to transfer the suspects to Kenya for investigation and, if appropriate, subsequent prosecution.

Piracy is a crime of universal jurisdiction which any state is entitled, as a matter of international law, to prosecute.