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.
Austria said on Saturday it was in talks with the European Union's executive body to extend border controls brought in last year to help stem the migrant flow.
Emails, correspondence and trade-deal details among sensitive documents released online by Anonymous hacking group
France will increase its troop count for the Ivory Coast, an operational base for French troops.
The ELN guerrilla group has attacked infrastructure and have continued to take hostages
A Russian jet intercept has occurred just weeks after Russian jets shadowed U.S. destroyer
Controversy sparks as Eurovision officials equate Kosovo, Crimean Tatar, Basque and Palestine flags with that of ISIL
Mandate of UN operation in Ivory Coast, which includes French forces, has also been extended until June 30, 2017
New agreement calls for strengthening fight against Boko Haram terror group in Lake Chad region
Gani, a London-based Muslim preacher who was linked to ISIL by British PM, says name being tarnished
Kurdish Regional Government's PM Nechervan Barzani says priority is fighting ISIL and stabilizing economy
A five month pregnant Palestinian woman and her 16 year old brother were executed by the IDF on the way to a medical appointment
Expanded cabinet and parliament pave way for elections in war-torn country in 2018
42 killed as a result of strike on hospital operated by Doctors Without Border in Afghanistan
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Taye-Brook Zerihoun told the UN Security Council that the total number of casualties now stands at 30,729
Foreign MInister Lavrov says Russia will 'take the necessary military-technical action' at its northernmost borders if Sweden joins the US-led alliance
Two dozen police have been injured and more than 120 arrests during night of demonstrations nationwide against watering-down of worker rights in France