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Federal judge sentences two more Somali pirates to life in prison

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] on Tuesday sentenced a pair of Somali men to life in prison [press release] for their involvement in the hijacking of a yacht that resulted in the deaths of four American citizens. This followed another pair of pirates' sentencing the day before, with a first sentencing in August [JURIST reports]. Mohamud Salad Ali, one of the leaders of the expedition, received two life sentences, while Ahmed Sala Ali Burale received one. Both expressed sorrow [Virginian-Pilot report] and stated they had tried to prevent the hostages from being harmed. Five men await sentencing, three of whom have pleaded not guilty [JURIST report].

Maritime piracy [JURIST news archive] off the coast of African continues to be a global concern. In August, a Dutch court sentenced [JURIST report] five Somali men to prison terms ranging from four to seven years for acts of maritime piracy. In May, courts in both Spain and South Korea [JURIST reports] sentenced Somali pirates to life imprisonment. In April, a Somali pirate was sentenced [JURIST report] by the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] to 25 years in prison for attacking a Danish ship off the coast of Somalia in 2008, for which he and other pirates received a $1.7 million ransom.

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