18 Pirates in court

MOMBASA - Eighteen Somali men brought ashore in Kenya by European navies crowded into a Mombasa courthouse on Wednesday to face piracy charges.

MOMBASA - Eighteen Somali men brought ashore in Kenya by European navies crowded into a Mombasa courthouse on Wednesday to face piracy charges.

Eleven shabbily dressed men seized by French commandos in the pirate-infested seas off Somalia made their first courtroom appearance after being handed over on Wednesday. Next door, seven other suspected pirates who were turned in by German forces earlier this month awaited their own hearing.

Both groups were seized after hot pursuits and dramatic captures. The French-seized men were taken in a pre-dawn raid on April 14. The Germans captured the men in March.

Magistrate Catherine Mwangi adjourned the case of the 11 until a bail hearing on May 27. They will remain in a Mombasa jail. She also ordered court officials to dress them properly for their bail hearing.

The men wore faded sarongs, old jackets and cheap sandals. Two men wore no shoes.

Kenya has a deal with the EU that allows them to try suspected pirates caught by European ships. - Sapa-AP

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