Piracy Charge Dismissed for Attack on USS Ashland
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted a defense motion and dismissed the charge of piracy that had been filed against six young Somali men for an April 10 attack on the USS Ashland (LSD- 48). United States v. Said, No. 2:10cr57 (E.D. Va., August 17, 2010). As noted in the US Department of Justice news release of April 23, the six (along with five others charged in a March 31 attack on the USS Nicholas) were indicted by a federal grand jury for engaging in piracy, attack to plunder a vessel, assault with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to use firearms during a crime of violence, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. The court’s ruling only dismisses the charge of piracy. The other charges (carrying a total maximum sentence of 50 years imprisonment) are undisturbed by this ruling.
(Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)