MADRID (AP) – Spain says 13 suspected Somali pirates captured in the lawless Gulf of Aden have been handed over to Kenya for a possible trial.

Defense Minister Carme Chacon says the suspects were transferred under international agreements signed in March by the European Union and Kenya. The handover took place Saturday at the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

Judge Fernando Andreu had initially sought to fly the suspects to his court in Madrid for questioning but backtracked under pressure from the Spanish government.

The bedraggled youths were plucked from an overturned hull by a Spanish navy ship after their boat capsized May 6 while they were allegedly attempting to hijack a Panamanian-flagged freighter.

Pirate attacks have soared in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes.


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