Malaysia offers pirate suspects no execution plea bargain
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysian prosecutors have offered seven suspected Somali pirates charged with offences that carry the death penalty the chance to admit lesser crimes and escape execution, their lawyer said on Wednesday.
Malaysia became the first nation in Asia last year to lay charges against Somali pirate suspects, as part of growing legal moves around the world to counter the piracy crisis off the lawless east African country.
All seven were originally charged with firing at the Malaysian armed forces while committing a robbery, in January last year.
The suspects have now been offered the chance to admit a lesser charge of using a weapon with the intention of preventing their arrest, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail, according to lawyer for two of the accused Saranjeet Kaur Sidhu.