April 9, 2009 / 4:52 PM / 10 years ago

US official: too soon to say if pirates to be tried

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday that it was too soon to say whether any of the Somali pirates would be put on trial in the United States if captured.

“It’s a little early to tell at this point,” he told reporters at the Justice Department when asked if the pirates might be brought to the United States to face criminal charges. The American ship captain of a U.S.-flagged, Danish-owned freighter has been taken hostage by the pirates.

“There hasn’t been an act of piracy against a United States vessel in hundreds of years. I’m not sure exactly what would happen next. But what we have to do is make sure the maritime life of this nation is protected,” Holder said.

Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Sandra Maler

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