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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Somalia slams US pirate prosecution

A Somali official has criticized the United States for prosecuting a Somali pirate who was caught during an attack against a cargo ship off the Horn of Africa.

Jamaal Cumar, a US-based Somali official, told the BBC that there are "serious concerns" over Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse's case who is due to be sentenced in October.

"The Somali government's position has always been that we questioned the jurisdiction of this case," Cumar said.

In April 2009, Muse and three other pirates seized the Maersk Alabama cargo ship, 440 km southeast of the Somalia port city of Eyl, and is now facing a 27-year jail sentence for admitting the attack.

The US Navy captured Muse after they killed the three other pirates who were trying to escape.

Muse is believed to have been the ringleader of the gang and the first to board the vessel that was carrying food aid. He is accused of firing his AK-47 assault rifle at Captain Richard Phillips -- who saved his crew aboard the Maersk Alabama by surrendering himself to Muse.

The standoff ended after a couple of days when the US Navy came to the rescue.

Cumar believes that a UN-backed international committee should deal with piracy cases.

Source: PressTV


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