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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Suspected Somali pirate negotiator faces arraignment in Virginia courtroom

Associated Press

April  27, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Somali man accused of acting as chief negotiator for pirates who took four Americans hostage and killed them in February is scheduled for an arraignment hearing in Virginia

Mohammad Saaili Shibin will appear before a federal judge in Norfolk on Wednesday. He faces piracy, kidnapping and weapons charges in association with the hijacking of the yacht Quest several hundred miles south of Oman.

Federal prosecutors say Shibin is the highest-ranking pirate the U.S. has captured in its efforts to help crack down on a rash of hijackings off Africa. He's the first suspected pirate to be captured by the U.S. in Somalia instead of at sea.

Court documents say Shibin has acknowledged receiving a $30,000 payment for his negotiation services of the hijacked German vessel M/V Marida Marguerite.


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