Three suspected pirates detained for six weeks on board a Danish naval frigate off West Africa have been released at sea, after Denmark’s justice minister waived charges of attempted manslaughter against them.
The men were detained in November, after an exchange of fire with the Danish military in the Gulf of Guinea, off Nigeria, that saw several other suspected pirates killed.
They could have been brought to Denmark for criminal prosecution, but the justice ministry said there was a risk that they could not subsequently be deported, irrespective of any possible conviction.
This fact might prove an incentive for others to commit criminal acts in an attempt to get prosecuted in Denmark, it said.
A fourth suspect, who was injured in the incident and taken to a hospital in Ghana, has been flown to Denmark where he is expected to be prosecuted for attempted manslaughter.
Denmark said it had no other option as diplomatic efforts to find a solution with Ghana failed, and it was felt he could not be released at sea.