Thursday, May 3, 2012

Convicted in the USA

One of the first ever alleged 'pirates' renditioned from Somalia to the USA, Mohammad Saaili Shibin, was found guilty on 27th April of charges of piracy, hostage taking, kidnapping and conspiracy. The prosecution said that he worked as a hostage negotiator for both the hijacking of an American yacht in February 2011 and a German merchant ship in 2010, and as a result earned between $30,000 and 50,000US for negotiating the ransom payments.

He faces a mandatory life sentence of life in a U.S. prison. Mohammad Saaili Shibin's lawyer has said that the conviction will be appealed. He says that the case should have been heard in Somalia rather than his client been kidnapped and taken to the USA.

In connection with the hi-jacking of the American yacht, there have already been other people convicted: eleven Somali men have been sentenced to life imprisonment and it was announced on 1st May that three more men who are defending the charges will face the death penalty if convicted.

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

The hijacking of the yacht in February last year resulted in the death of the couple who owned the boat, two guests on the boat, and four of the alleged pirates. After the incident, the US apparently reviewed their policy in relation to piracy around the Gulf of Aden.