Pirates Plead Guilty in Malaysian Navy Shooting

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Pirates Plead Guilty in Malaysian Navy Shooting

Also: Singapore police crackdown, joint exercises between the Philippine and US military. Tuesday ASEAN links.

Seven Somali pirates, accused of firing at Malaysian naval officials during an attempted robbery, have pled guilty in order to receive shortened jail sentences. In 2011, the pirates tried to hijack an oil tanker in the Gulf of Alden, but were thwarted by Royal Malaysian Navy personnel after a shootout.

According to their plea bargain, the seven pirates will avoid the death penalty as well as a life sentence. They have been charged with firing at armed forces with intent to avoid lawful detention.

“Judge Mohd Azman Hasin sentenced Ahmed Othman Jamal, Abdil Eid Hasan and Abdi Hakim Mohd Abdi each to 10 years in prison,” said The Star. “He sentenced the other four Somalis to eight years in prison, on the grounds that they were juvenile offenders at the time the crime was committed.”

On land, police in Singapore have been cracking down on domestic crime, arresting 236 people between August 27 and September 1. The initiative was led by the Central Police Division.

“Police said the officers raided illegal massage parlors at Jalan Besar, and conducted enforcement checks at public entertainment outlets at Marina Bay, South Bridge Road, Beach Road and Little India,” reported Channel NewsAsia.

Illegal employment accounted for 180 of the arrests, more than any other offense.

In a different showing of force, the Philippine and U.S. military have agreed to hold joint exercises later this month “amid talks of increased rotational presence of U.S. forces here and continuing tensions between Manila and Beijing over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).”

The Inquirer stated that the three-week-long military drills, hosted by the Philippine Marine Corps, “will provide the Philippine and U.S. troops an opportunity to maintain their unit skill sets while sharing their best practices and enhancing an already high level of interoperability.”

Across the globe in Paris, casts of the art treasures from Cambodia’s Khmer temple at Angkor Wat will be taken out of storage after more than 70 years.

“The casts, made between 1870 and the late 1920s, were commissioned by Frenchman Louis Delaporte (1842-1925), a member of the expedition team who ‘rediscovered’ Angkor nearly 150 years ago,” said AFP.

Last year, the casts were inventoried and restored. They will be put on display at Paris’ Musee Guimet from October 16.

J.T. Quigley is assistant editor of The Diplomat.