Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Somali man sentenced in Manhattan court

Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, the sole survivor of the April 2009 Maersk Alabama incident, was sentenced this afternoon to 33 years and nine months in prison for his role in that pirate attack. This was the maximum sentence; Muse's lawyers had asked for the minimum-allowable sentence, 27 years, but Judge Loretta Preska declined the request.

The Somali man reportedly told the court today, "I'm very sorry for what I did. I got my hands into something that was more powerful than me."

Muse plead guilty last year to charges of hijacking, kidnapping and hostage-taking. He did not plead guilty to any piracy charges, nor was he convicted of piracy charges, unlike what some media are reporting (see the BBC here). While he may be a pirate in the eyes of many, he is a convicted kidnapper and hijacker in the eyes of justice.

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