Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

5 Somalis convicted in USS Ashland case

28 February 2013, 14:11

Norfolk - Five Somali men were convicted of piracy on Wednesday for the 2010 attack on the USS Ashland off the coast of Africa.

A sixth man who claimed to be the group's leader had already pleaded guilty to lesser charges and testified that they thought they were attacking a merchant ship when one of his crew members fired an AK-47 at the Ashland.

Prosecutors said the men intended to board the ship and hold it for ransom, a common practice in Somalia. But before that could happen, the Virginia-based amphibious dock landing ship returned fire with a 25mm cannon, killing one man and setting the pirates' skiff on fire.

Defence attorneys had argued to the federal jury that the men were returning to Somalia after ferrying refugees to Yemen when they came across the ship in the Gulf of Aden. They said an AK-47 was fired in the Ashland's direction to get its attention so it could help them after they were wandering around lost at sea.

Jama Idle Ibrahim, the self-proclaimed pirate crew's leader, said it was his idea to tell Navy investigators that story when they were in the water awaiting rescue. He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in hopes of getting his 30-year sentence eventually reduced.

Each of the other men convicted of piracy face a mandatory life sentence plus additional time for other related charges.

"These men were pirates - plain and simple," US Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. "They attacked a ship hoping to hold it ransom for millions of dollars. Few crimes are older than piracy on the high seas, and today's verdict shows that the United States takes it very seriously."

A federal judge had dismissed the piracy charges because the men never boarded or robbed the ship. But a federal appeals court reversed that decision, sending the case back to trial.

- AP

NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Chepkwony Robert
Nakuru speaker puts trace ministr...

County Chief Executive in charge of Trade and Tourism Edith Kimani’s fate hangs in the balance following the County Assembly speaker Susan Kihika’s directive that the county assembly vetting committee investigates her academic qualifications. Read more...

Submitted by
KISIKA SAMUEL
Rural dwellers to benefit from ch...

Rural dwellers unable to afford electricity connection and depend on kerosene lamps and candles for lighting in Kenya and entire East Africa are set to benefit from reliable, friendly to use, cheap and improvised solar lamps. Read more...

Submitted by
Chepkwony Robert
Nakuru EACC officers arrested by ...

Three Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission among them a driver were arrested by traffic police officers for failing to belt up. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Al Shabaab threat sees major func...

The threat of terrorism has put paid to an event that would have been the most epic of the year. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Eric Omondi in trouble with Santa...

Eric Omondi has pulled a wrong move, falling in trouble with world renowned nice guy Santa Clause. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
14 Kenyans named among Africa's m...

14, yes 14 Kenyans. We are not doing badly are we? Read more...