The Somali government informed the city Civil and Sessions Court on Thursday that 120 of its nationals undergoing trial in Mumbai intended to plead guilty to charges of piracy. The pirates want to submit a guilty plea in the hope of expediting the trial which is inching towards the final stages.
“The communication received from the Embassy of the Republic of Somali states that the accused intend to plead guilty. The letter is accompanied by signatures of the 120 accused,” said Special Public Prosecutor Ranjit Sangle.
Sangle told the court that the communication came after the latest visit of embassy officials to Taloja Jail where the pirates have been incarcerated. “At a meeting on October 26 under the chairmanship of the additional chief secretary, Home, it was expressed that the pirates want to plead guilty,” he added.
Vishwajeet Singh, a Delhi-based lawyer, representing the Somali Embassy said that it had got an indication from the pirates that they wanted an early conclusion of the trial. “The embassy then wrote to the Maharashtra government and the Union government,” he said. READ MORE OF THIS STORY ON MARITIME HUB