The Busan District Court arrested the five pirates on Sunday for hijacking the South Korean cargo ship Samho Jewelry in the Arabian Sea and shooting the ship's captain on January 15th.
The pirates who were captured by South Korean special forces on January 21st arrived in the southern city of Busan on a United Arab Emirates' royal jet at around 4 a.m. Sunday and were immediately taken to court.
The court issued arrest warrants for maritime robbery and attempted murder after questioning the pirates for one-and-a-half-hours in Somali, English and Korean.
This is the first time Korea has brought pirates operating outside of South Korean waters to the country for litigation.
Court officials said the pirates whose ages range between 19 and 25 have so far denied almost all allegations and blamed their dead colleagues for shooting the captain.
The officials however said they have enough evidence to prove the charges against the pirates including the South Korean crew's testimonies and video footage from the rescue as well as the freighter's trajectory.
Under South Korean law the pirates could be sentenced to at least five years in prison for hijacking the ship and life imprisonment or death for shooting the captain.
The five pirates were captured and eight others were killed during the rescue operation.
All 21 crew members aboard the Samho Jewelry were rescued unharmed except the ship's captain who was shot in the stomach and is currently being treated at a hospital in Korea
The source of arirang news