Somali pirates to get life sentence for killing four Americans

 Suspected pirates Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, left, and Ahmed Muse Salad, right leave the federal courthouse in Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. Closing arguments are set in the sentencing of three Somali pirates convicted in the 2011 shooting deaths of four Americans off the coast of Africa. Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar , could face the death penalty. The sentencing phase began July 22, 2013. The yacht's owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were killed several days after they were taken hostage at sea. A jury found the Somalis guilty of all 26 charges, including piracy, which carries a mandatory life sentence. In all, 22 counts that they were convicted of are eligible for the death penalty.

Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP

A U.S. jury had recommended that Somali pirates Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar (left) and Ahmed Muse Salad (right) receive a sentence of life in prison for the killing of four American citizens. 

NORFOLK, Virginia— A U.S. jury has recommended that three Somali pirates be sentenced to life in prison in the killing of four Americans aboard their yacht off the east coast of Africa.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty. But the jury recommended the only other possible sentence Friday for Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar. Formal sentencing comes later.

Scott and Jean Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif. were among those killed by the pirates. 

Del Rey Yacht Club/AP

Scott and Jean Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif. were among those killed by the pirates. 

The Americans were the first U.S. citizens killed in a wave of pirate attacks that have plagued the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean in recent years.

RELATED: CONVICTED SOMALI PIRATE LOSES APPEAL

Prosecutors had recommended that Abukar Osman Beyle and the other Somali pirates receive a sentence of death. 

Steve Earley//The Virginian-Pilot via AP

Prosecutors had recommended that Abukar Osman Beyle and the other Somali pirates receive a sentence of death. 

The three Somali men were among 19 who boarded the yacht in February 2011 in hopes of taking the Americans to Somalia and ransoming them for millions of dollars. The plan fell apart when the U.S. Navy began following the yacht.

The Navy had told the pirates that they could keep the yacht in exchange for the hostages, but they refused to take the deal because they didn’t believe they would get enough money.

Mohammad Saaili Shibin was among those found guilty in the deadly attacks off the Somali coast. 

L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP

Mohammad Saaili Shibin was among those found guilty in the deadly attacks off the Somali coast. 

As the yacht neared the Somali coastline, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the Navy ship. Soon after, gunshots were fired on board the yacht.

RELATED: ‘PIRATES’ OF THE HUDSON HIT SIX TIMES SINCE MAY

Nina Crossland holds up a picture of her aunt, Phyllis Macay, who was killed in the attacks. 

Jeff Chiu/AP

Nina Crossland holds up a picture of her aunt, Phyllis Macay, who was killed in the attacks. 

Eleven other defendants who were aboard the yacht have already pleaded guilty to piracy and have been sentenced to life in prison.

Four other suspected pirates were killed aboard the yacht. A fifth suspected pirate was released because he was a juvenile.

Another man who prosecutors say was a land-based negotiator and the highest-ranking pirate they’ve ever captured has been convicted of piracy and sentenced to a dozen life sentences in prison.


Nation / World – NY Daily News

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