Rights court orders France to compensate 9 Somalis over piracy arrests

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Europe's top human rights court is ordering France to pay 9 Somalis, most of whom have been convicted of piracy, thousands of euros (dollars) each over the way in which they were arrested following the hijacking of two French boats in 2008.

Luxury vessel the Ponant was hijacked in April 2008; the 30 people aboard were freed after its owner paid more than $2 million ransom. The same day the hostages were freed, French special forces arrested six suspects as they drove away from the port. The court found Thursday that the five days it took to place them in formal custody was unnecessarily long.

In a second hijacking, it took three days to formally place the suspects in custody. Thursday's ruling includes both those convicted and acquitted of piracy.