Sunday, December 18, 2011

Court cases continue

Nine Somali men have now been sentenced to life imprisonment in the USA for the hijacking of a US yacht in February 2011, two more men are yet to be sentenced and three are defending the charges. These three face the death penalty if convicted.

Those sentenced to prison have also been ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution.

Earlier this year, in May, the US courts sentenced Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, a 15-year old, to 33 years and nine months in prison. He was tried as an adult despite evidence that he was only a young teenager and despite the fact that the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, confirmed the group that Muse was part of were "untrained teenagers with heavy weapons."  The other three teenagers in the group were killed by US snipers.

Muse is not the only teenager sentenced or facing trial in foreign lands. In the Netherlands one of the people sentenced there said he was only 13 years old, so-called expert tests put his age at between 14 and 15 years.

In Germany, ten Somali are being tried in a Hamburg juvenile court as three of the group are teenagers.

In Japan a teenager is to be tried in a youth court, the three others in the group will be tried as adults.