US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] Judge Mark Davis on Monday ruled [Virginian Pilot report] that two Somali pirates [JURIST news archive] who killed four Americans will spend their lives in prison. Mahdi Jama Mohamed and Muhidin Salad Omar, the two convicted men, apologized to the victims' familieswho did not attend the sentencingbefore being taken away. In August, a Somali man was also sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] for his role in the hijacking of a US vessel that resulted in the deaths of four US citizens. They were the first US citizens to die in the recent wave of international maritime piracy attacks.
Also in August, the District Court of Rotterdam [official website, in Dutch] sentenced [JURIST report] five Somali men to prison terms ranging from four to seven years for acts of maritime piracy [JURIST news archive]. All five of the sentenced pirates were discovered in a navy supply ship off the coast of Somalia earlier this year, and while all five were convicted of piracy, two were also convicted of hijacking. Judge Jacco Janssen rejected the suspects' arguments that the poverty and famine in Somalia is a justification for piracy.