Marine Link
Monday, December 5, 2016

U.S. Seeks Death Penalty for Three Somali Yacht Hijackers

May 2, 2012

Somali pirates charged with murder of four Americans aboard their yacht last year face trial

Federal prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against three Somalis charged with murder in the fatal shooting of four Americans aboard a hijacked yacht last year.

Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar could also face the death penalty on numerous other charges related to the February, 2011 hijacking. They include hostage taking resulting in death, violence against maritime navigation resulting in death and kidnapping resulting in death. In total, 22 of the 26 counts the defendants are charged with are death-eligible offenses.

The decision to seek the death penalty is made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Prosecutors were required to tell the court if they planned to seek the death penalty before the Somalis’ trial started. A status hearing to set a trial date is scheduled for May 22. Each of the men have pleaded not guilty.

The court filing outlines the reasons behind the decision to seek the death penalty. Among them, prosecutors say the men killed or attempted to kill more than one person during a single episode. It also says their actions endangered the U.S. military and that the Americans were killed “in an especially wanton and gratuitous manner.”

The owners of the yacht Quest, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., along with friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were the first Americans to be killed in a wave of pirate attacks off the coast of east Africa despite an international flotilla of warships that regularly patrol the area. The Adamses had been sailing full-time on their 58-foot yacht since December 2004 when their boat was boarded by 19 men several hundred miles south of Oman.



 
Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2016 - Workboat Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News