Somali pirate given two life sentences

Oct. 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A Somali pirate leader has been sentenced in a Virginia court to two life prison terms for his part in the attack on a yacht that left four Americans dead.

U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis gave Mohamud Salad Ali two life terms to run concurrently, the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday.

Ali was one of the organizers of a pirate group that seized the American yacht Quest 900 miles off the coast of Somalia last February.

He was one of two pirates who boarded a Navy ship in an attempt to negotiate a ransom, but the Americans were killed as the negotiations failed and Navy SEALS attempted to board the yacht.

On Monday, Davis sentenced two other pirates, Mahdi Jama Mohamed and Muhidin Salad Omar, to life imprisonment.

Davis said he considered a sentence of life in prison "a just sentence."

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