Kenya and Seychelles will receive $9.3 million in donations to improve their criminal justice system to help them prosecute suspected Somali pirates.
According to AP Cole, head of U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime's counterpiracy program in East Africa said on Tuesday the funds will cover costs for the next 18 months to upgrade courts and prisons, better equip police and prosecutors, and fly in witnesses for piracy trials.
Kenya holds in custody 123 suspects of piracy, captured in the neighboring Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, where many vessels have been hijacked by Somali pirates.
International naval forces patrolling the area have delivered many captured pirates to Kenya, heavily burdening its poorly equipped and corrupt criminal justice system. At the beginning of 2010, Kenya stopped taking on new cases until the European Union gave assurance in May.
Suspects have been convicted and sentenced in Kenya, Cole said. Besides the European Union, donations to aid the prosecution of suspected pirates come from Australia, the United States, and Canada.
Ten countries hold in total 540 Somalis suspected of piracy, Cole said.