Trial of Somali 'pirates' opens in Netherlands

Europe's first trial of alleged Somali pirates opened at Rotterdam District Court yesterday with conflicting accounts from the five suspects, a notable lack of physical evidence and a shortage of witnesses.

The men, who face 12 years in prison, deny seeking to hijack a cargo ship registered in the Netherlands Antilles. Their boat was intercepted by a Danish frigate in the Gulf of Aden last year.

"If our children are hungry, who is responsible?" shouted one defendant, Sayid Ali Garaar, 39. The trial continues.