Sunday, August 26, 2012

Negotiators in Court

As a deterrance to other 'pirate negotiators', in early August Mohammad Saaili Shibin was sentenced in a US court to multiple sentences of life imprisonment. He was sentenced to "10 concurrent life sentences...two consecutive life sentences...10 years consecutive...and two 20-year sentences... and is also required to pay restitution in the amount of approximately $5,408,000US." Mohammad Saaili Shibin was one of the first 'pirates' renditioned from Somalia to the USA, and was convicted in April this year for supposedly acting as a negotiator for both the hijacking of an American yacht in February 2011 and a German merchant ship in 2010. He allegedly admitted to some of the charges after being captured in Somalia and whilst being taken to the US on a flight that took three days. The US thanked Germany for its help in the prosecution.

In contrast, in April 2011 Ali Mohamed Ali, another alleged 'pirate negptiator', was arrested whilst travelling in the USA and was charged with piracy. His trial is still on-going, but already the judge has found that universal jurisdiction does not apply as Ali was arrested on land. He was not arrested at high sea.