African Pirate Receives Long Term Sentence
A young Somali pirate who was captured by American forces in the Arabian Gulf has been sentenced in New York to 33 years and 9 months imprisonment. Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse age unknown but thought to be in his teens was taken in 2009 in spectacular standoff between the Somali pirates and the US Navy.
The Somali pirates captured a US merchant ship the Maersk Alabama for over a week subjecting the crew to a terrorising ordeal. The pirates then tried to escape in a small boat from the US vessel with the captain of the merchant ship held as hostage. Muse, who went over to the US vessel to negotiate was subsequently captured and the other pirates were killed from sniper fire. The merchant vessel captain was eventually rescued unharmed along with the rest of the crew.
During the court hearing defence lawyers argued that Muse would have been in his mid-teens at the time of the hijack and that coming from a poor and impoverished country deserved some leniency. However, Federal Judge Loretta Preska said: “The sentence of 33 years, nine months for Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse would serve as general deterrence in this kind of crime.”