Somali “Pirate leader” on trial in Bruges
Mohamed Abdi Hassan is seen as the leader of a group of pirates responsible for hi-jacking countless vessels off the coast of Somalia. Belgian prosecutors are taking him to court for the hi-jacking of the Pompei, a vessel operated by the Belgian dredging company Jan De Nul. The crew of the vessel was only released after a ransom of two million euros was paid. Abdi Hassan was enticed to come to Belgium in 2013 after he was convinced that a film was to be made about his life as a pirate. The chief defendant was also active in Somali politics and when he was detained a high-ranking Somali official who was accompanying him was also arrested. Both men now face charges in Bruges.