World Bulletin / News Desk
A Somali man who acted as a ransom negotiator for pirates who seized an American yacht last year and killed four American hostages was sentenced on Monday by a U.S. federal judge to serve 12 life sentences.
Mohammad Shibin was convicted in April on 15 charges including piracy, hostage taking, kidnapping and conspiracy. He was paid $30,000 to $50,000 in cash for his negotiating services, according to a federal indictment.
In a courtroom in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar sentenced Shibin to serve 10 concurrent life sentences, two consecutive life sentences and two 20-year sentences and ordered him to pay $5.4 million in restitution.
Pirates commandeered an American yacht carrying Jean and Scott Adam of California and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle from Seattle in February 2011 off the coast of Somalia. All four hostages were killed despite attempts by the U.S. military to negotiate their release.
Prosecutors said Shibin was among an elite group whose skills were needed to negotiate ransoms.
According to evidence presented at trial, Shibin researched the background of the hostages over the Internet to determine how much ransom to demand and to find family members to contact for the payments, prosecutors said.
Shibin also served as a ransom negotiator for pirates who seized the M/V Marida Marguerite in 2010. The German-owned vessel had a crew of 22 men who were held hostage for seven months starting inMay 2010 and reported being tortured.
In 2011 Somali piracy cost the world economy $7 billion and earned the pirates some $160 million inransoms, according to a recent report by the International Maritime Bureau.
"(Shibin's) multiple life sentences should put all pirates on notice that the Justice Department will hold you accountable in a U.S. courtroom for crimes on the high seas," MacBride said.
Palestinians have said they will have no choice but to complain about Israel to the International Criminal Court if it proceeds with controversial settlement plans.
Japanese PM called King Abdullah II of Jordan and expressed appreciation for his efforts.
Rockets fired at village near Timbuktu, one killed. Follows suicide attack in town of Tabankort.
The Israeli army also arrested 60 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, 42 from Ramallah and al-Bireh, 38 from Jenin, 35 from Nablus, 19 from Qalqilya and 19 from Bethlehem.
Hopes of de-escalation evaporated on Saturday with Ukraine's representative and separatist envoys accusing the other of sabotaging negotiations.
Protesters also demanded the release of Yemeni prisoners in Saudi prisons.
Anan Abu Saleh, 19, has been detained at a checkpoint near Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque Complex.
Six Bulgarian U.N. aid workers who were detained by rebels in Sudan's strife-torn South Kordofan region have been released, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said Sunday
Up to 13,000 march for greater democracy in first protest since last year's Umbrella Movement
Sixty-two percent favoured Greece staying in the 19-country currency union.
Jordan's security and military agencies were making constant checks to see whether the pilot, Muath al-Kasaesbeh, was still alive
All eyes on PM's keynote speech on Monday
An online video released Saturday purports to show the beheading of journalist Kenji Goto.