Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Happy Birthday, Mr President

Read more

THE DEBATE

The clean power plan: Obama, a climate leader?

Read more

THE DEBATE

US drone secrecy: Licence to kill?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Puerto Rico defaults: is it America's Greece?

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

India: the surrogate mother baby boom

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'How to detect nonsense about climate change'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Gabon President aide detained in Paris

Read more

THE DEBATE

Kerry Middle East Tour

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Leading human rights activist shot in Burundi's capital

Read more

Americas

Judge throws out piracy charges against six Somalis

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-17

A US district judge threw out piracy charges against six Somalis standing trial for attacking a US Navy ship in the Gulf of Aden. The men still face seven other charges related to the attack.

AP - A judge on Tuesday dismissed piracy charges against six Somali nationals accused of attacking a Navy ship off the coast of Africa, concluding the U.S. government failed to make the case their alleged actions amounted to piracy.

The dismissal of the piracy count by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson tosses the most serious charge against the men, but leaves intact seven other charges related to the alleged April 10 attack on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden. A piracy conviction carries a mandatory life term.

“The court finds that the government has failed to establish that any unauthorized acts of violence or aggression committed on the high seas constitutes piracy as defined by the law of nations,” Jackson wrote in granting the defense motion to dismiss.

Attorneys for the six men had argued that the men did not seize or rob the Ashland, falling short of the centuries-old definition of piracy.

Jackson, who issued the ruling from Norfolk, wrote that the government was attempting to use “an enormously broad standard under a novel construction of the statute” that would contradict a nearly 200-year-old Supreme Court decision.

The six allegedly attacked the Ashland in a skiff, which was destroyed by 25mm fire from the Ashland. The men claimed they were ferrying refugees.

Attorneys for five other Somali defendants accused in a similar attack on the USS Nicholas are also seeking dismissal of the piracy count, citing similar arguments. They are being tried before a different judge.

The government did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.
 

Date created : 2010-08-17

COMMENT(S)