July 9, 2011 in Nation/World

Suspect pirates charged with murder

Associated Press
 

NORFOLK, Va. – Three suspected Somali pirates were charged with murder Friday in the slayings of four Americans aboard a hijacked yacht off the coast of Africa in February.

Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar could face the death penalty if they are convicted.

The Somalis are among 14 men who were charged with piracy, kidnapping and weapons violations in the hijacking of the yacht Quest. Eleven of those men have already pleaded guilty to piracy for their roles in the case, although prosecutors have said none of those men shot the Americans or ordered anyone else to.

As part of a plea deal, the pirates agreed to cooperate with authorities in this case and possibly others in exchange for the possibility of having their mandatory life sentences reduced.

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