Australian Defence Force witnesses to support Seychelles piracy trial
15 July 2012
The Australian Defence Force has continued its support to international cooperation in combating piracy by assisting the government of the Seychelles in a current criminal trial of accused pirates.
Royal Australian Air Force personnel have appeared as witnesses in the trial to give evidence about imagery captured by a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft, while deployed in the Middle East Area of Operations, of a suspected pirate vessel.
The trial relates to an alleged pirate attack on the MV Happy Bird, a United Kingdom flagged liquid petroleum gas carrier, in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia on 12 January 2012.
Royal Australian Air Force PA-3C Orion aircraft operate in the Middle East Area of Operations. An element of their tasking is in support of the Combined Maritime Force, the 26 member multi-national naval partnership which promotes security, stability, and prosperity in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and Red Sea region.
Earlier this year, the Seychelles established the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution Intelligence and Coordination Centre and has signed a number of arrangements to support a prosecution framework for suspected pirates brought to the Seychelles by international partners.
The ADF also contributes to counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia through the deployment of an Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigate, which is flexibly cross-tasked between the US-led Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Forces on counter terrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security.
Australia is hosting an international counter-piracy conference in Perth from 15 to 17 July.
DefenceMediaOperations – 02 6127 1999