Two of three teenagers facing charges amounting to terrorist activity were moved from the high-security unit at Corradino Correctional Facility to the juvenile section following vocal opposition, the Times of Malta has learned.

Aditus director and lawyer Neil Falzon, had said keeping two of the minors in the high-security division would be in breach of a magistrate’s orders for the state to look after them.

Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said he had no say in where the migrants were being kept, arguing it was the responsibility of the Corradino Correctional Facility’s director to make such a decision.

Read: Anger as teen migrants are kept in high-security division

The three teenagers are pleading not guilty to charges of hijacking the vessel El Hiblu 1 last month. The teenagers were among a group of migrants the captain and his crew had rescued while stranded at sea.

It was alleged that the incident involving the three accused occurred after the captain decided to take them back to Tripoli but those on board insisted they wanted to go to Malta.

Read: Teen 'ringleaders' ordered hijacked ship to 'go Malta', captain testifies

The tanker was stormed by Maltese soldiers in the early hours of March 28 as it entered Maltese waters. The ship was then escorted to Senglea where the 100 rescued migrants on board disembarked. The government said those on board consisted of 38 males, 15 females and 47 minors. A pregnant woman and a child were taken to Mater Dei Hospital for medical observation.

The accused, aged 15, 16 and 19, face between seven and 30 years behind bars if found guilty. Those moved to the juvenile section were the younger ones.

Captain Nader El Hiblu, 42, said in court this week the three teenagers were the ringleaders who led an uprising aboard his vessel. They acted aggressively and circled the bridge, making sure the ship was heading to Malta at full throttle. “No Libya, go Malta,” the captain recalled them ordering, saying the three had worked together to make sure the El Hiblu 1 did not return to Libya, as was his intention.

The captain told the court there was no violence on board and he was the only person steering the ship throughout.

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