update on Manhattan U.S. Attorney
Somali pirate suspect pleads innocent in NY court,
New York (CNN) -- A federal court has sentenced a Somali man to nearly 34 years in prison Wednesday for acts related to high-seas piracy, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.Abduwali Abukhadir Muse pleaded guilty to the April 2009 hijacking of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama and for subsequently taking the ship's captain hostage.He was sentenced on Wednesday to 405 months in prison, the statement said. "I'm sorry very much for what happened to victims on ship, I am very sorry about what I caused," Muse said. "I was recruited by people more powerful than me," asking "forgiveness for all the people I harmed and the U.S. government."Muse was also sentenced for his participation in the hijacking of two other vessels in late March and early April of 2009, which also involved the taking of hostages, the statement said.He pleaded guilty on May 18, 2010, to two felony counts of hijacking maritime vessels, two felony counts of kidnapping, and two felony counts of hostage taking, it added."For five days that must have seemed like an eternity to his victims, Abduwali Abukhadir Muse terrorized the captain and crew of the Maersk Alabama, said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. "Now he will pay for those five days and the events leading up to them."The attack occurred in the Gulf of Aden between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.In the hijacking, U.S. Navy SEALs ultimately rescued the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, while he was held hostage in a lifeboat not far from the Alabama.Phillips was initially hailed as a hero for his actions in exchanging himself for the safety of his crew. Later, many of those crew members told CNN that Phillips had ignored several explicit warnings that urged him to stay away from the shipping lanes where the attack took place.Phillips returned to sea about a year after that attack and was not reassigned to the Alabama.Until last year, there had not been a piracy-related conviction in the United States since 1861, during the Civil War, officials said.
Teen Somali pirate sentenced to nearly 34 years
OSLO, Norway A Norwegian shipping magnate was strongly criticized Wednesday for suggesting that pirates captured off the Horn of Africa should be sunk with their skiffs or executed on the spot."When (piracy) implies a great risk of being caught and hanged, and the cost of losing ships and weapons becomes too big, it will decrease and eventually disappear," Jacob Stolt-Nielsen said in an op-ed in Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv. more..
shipper: kill pirates 'on the spot'
S. Korea to fly bodies of pirates to Somalia
Joy As 39 Hijacked Fishermen Arrive Home .
Nairobi — Kenyans captured by Somali pirates served as slaves and were forced to help in the capture of other ships in the Indian Ocean waters.The 39 Kenyans, who were held hostage for four months, on Tuesday told a harrowing story of torture, deprivation, slavery and eventual freedom, as their ship finally berthed at Kilindini, to a tumultuous welcome . They told of despair as their captivity rolled from days, to weeks and months as their captors negotiated for the Sh50 million ransom. When the talks collapsed, their hope of ever walking out of their ship alive dimmed and they sank into despair and a feeling of hopelessness.
But on Tuesday, they walked into the sunny Kilindini harbour to the warm and teary embrace of family and friends as their ship, the MV Golden Wave, sounded one final triumphal horn and docked into Kilindini Wharf.In what is fast becoming a routine in the wake of increased piracy in the Indian Ocean, family members arrived at the seaside in the wee hours to receive their long-lost loved ones.
Mr Josech Amere, one of the freed fishermen, said they were forced to carry ladders and hooks used to climb into ships that were being hijacked. The pirates hijacked five ships during the hostages' time in captivity."We were first asked to disembark and confirm the area was safe for the pirates to attack. This posed many dangers to us and it is only through God's mercy that we survived the risks," said Mr Amere.He said the pirates were operating in Kenyan waters."At one time we hijacked a Singapore registered ship 30 miles off the Kenya shore but the Kenyan security failed to rescue us," said Mr Amere.The 43 hostages were not provided with adequate water and food."We were all being locked up in one of the rooms of the hull and were not allowed out of the room. The room was untidy and poorly ventilated," said Mr Amere.Mr Mihadi Daniel said they were held in Haradheere in Somalia. Their six-day journey to Mombasa was peaceful since they were being escorted by Mv Bonjanma, a Finish naval ship."The day we were hijacked on October 9, we had escaped the pirates three times but the captain defied our request to change the course. After the pirates sprayed our vessel with bullets, the captain surrendered and we were taken to Haradheere where the pirates' commander lives," said Daniel adding that the pirates were armed with AK-47 rifles and rocket launchers.He said their Korean Captain, Mr Kim De Geon, was given tough options -- to chose between paying the ransom, having the fishing vessel used as a 'mother ship' to hunt other ships or have his head chopped off.
Fearing for his life and unable to raise the ransom, Mr Geon chose to surrender the ship to the pirates."It was a matter of life and death, I had no money and I couldn't allow them to cut off my head as they had threatened that is why I felt the only option is to hand over the ship to the pirates," he said.On Tuesday at Mbaraki Wharf, families of the 39 Kenyan, two Korean and two Chinese crew members were reunited with their families.Some family members who travelled from as far as Central Province to welcome their relatives shed tears of joy as they hugged and kissed at Mbaraki wharf.Before the families met the arriving fishermen, they were locked outside the Mbaraki Wharf compound for more than four hours as health officials, customs officers and the police interviewed the crew members on their experience in the hands of the pirates.Ms Catherine Amina, the mother of Suleiman Mwacharo, the youngest fisherman in the group, described yesterday's event as the day of resurrection."We have been living in sorrow and despair especially in the past one month after we received news that negotiations to release our children had hit a snag but seeing my child today is like he has been reborn," said Ms Amina.
Account of misdeeds by Somali pirates
New Delhi: Somalia has not had a functioning government in two decades, and piracy has flourished off its coast. The elusive robbers of the high seas have greatly expanded the areas where they operate in the recent years and Indian sailors are facing the crisis with very little or simply no support from the government.The pirates have already struck four times capturing at least 27 Indian sailors in 2011. An anti-piracy mission on January 28, 2011, saw the Navy kill ten pirates and arrest 20. Last year in September, the MT Asphalt Venture was hijacked, the fate of the fifteen Indians on board remains uncertain...More Account of misdeeds by Somali pirates
Somali pirates use captive crew to attack vessels - hostage
MOMBASA, Kenya, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Somali pirates forced a hostage crew to hijack vessels in exchange for freedom, a released seaman said on Tuesday, indicating a change in tactics by sea bandits plaguing the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean."The other two options -- beheading the captain or a $6 million ransom -- were unworkable," Kenyan Joseph Amere told Reuters as he set foot on home soil in the port city of Mombasa.Somali pirates seized the South Korean MV Golden Wave in October and deployed the fishing vessel as a mothership, a strategy that has allowed them to extend their reach as far south as Madagascar and as far east as a few hundred miles off India. Amere, who had acted as the crew's chief negotiator with pirate bosses, said they had been illegally trawling for crabs off the shores of Somalia, a country mired in conflict and awash with weapons since the 1991 fall of Mohamed Siad Barre.The 43-strong crew, which included two Chinese and two South Korean nationals, had been forced to launch 17 raids on ships plying the busy waterways between east Africa and the Seychelles archipelago, he said. It was not possible to verify the reports. more
Diary of SKorean held by Somali pirates revealed
SEOUL, South Korea – A South Korean ship captain held by Somali pirates for four months plotted to escape by slipping sleeping pills into his captors' drinks but failed to do so because his Kenyan chef feared retaliation, a news report said Wednesday.
The captain, Kim Dae-keun, was one of 43 sailors freed last week from captivity. The ship and its crew arrived in Kenya on Tuesday.Several days after being abducted, Kim asked his Kenyan chef to put sleeping pills in water to be served to the Somali pirates, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing a diary it said Kim wrote during his captivity .more.
Danish Warship Frees Ship Hijacked by Pirates