Somali pirates given life sentence

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A US court has sentenced two Somali pirates to life in prison without parole for their role in the killing of four Americans aboard a yacht off the Horn of Africa in February 2011.

Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar were convicted of murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking and piracy. Prosecutors say 19 Somalis, 14 of whom have now been sentenced, boarded the yacht to take the Americans for ransom. The hostages died after negotiations with the US Navy broke down.

The victims were the yacht’s owners, Jean Adam, 66, and her husband Scott Adam, 70 – a former producer who worked on classic TV show The Love Boat – and their two friends Phyllis Patricia Macay, 59, and Robert Riggle, 67. They had been sailing round the world distributing Bibles when their yacht was boarded by pirates off the Horn of Africa on 18 February, 2011.

Prosecutors said the pirates intended to take their hostages to Somalia, so that they could be ransomed for millions of dollars.

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