NORFOLK, Va., Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Va., Thursday sentenced two Somali men to life in prison for piracy in an attack in which four Americans were killed.
Mohamud Hirs Issa Ali and Jilani Abdiali admitted their involvement in the attack, but Ali said he took no part in the killings, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported. Two other Somali pirates will be sentenced Friday.
A group of 19 pirates took control of the 58-foot American yacht Quest in the Arabian Sea Feb. 18, holding four hostages for ransom. Negotiations with the U.S. Navy turned sour and the Somalis shot and killed Scott Adam and Jean Adam, of Los Angeles, and Phyllis Macay and Robert Riggle, of Seattle, the newspaper said.
Three other alleged pirates are scheduled to go on trial on murder charges next year. The government has not decided whether it will pursue the death penalty for the suspects.