Denmark finds Nigerian guilty in piracy case

On Monday 26th of November, a Danish court found a Nigerian man guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s Navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Nigerian man, 40 year old, Lucky Frances, was however not sentenced. The incident occurred when as part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October 2021. The following month, it intervened in an alleged attack on a commercial vessel, killing four pirates and capturing four other suspects.

“The court emphasized that the (40-year-old) man, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.

Frances was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash and was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana. His leg was amputated as a result of his injuries. The other three suspects had charges against them dropped in January, after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them, the Danish Armed Forces said at the time.

Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, according to his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen, speaking to Reuters news agency here. Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict. We will continue to monitor the case.