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Federal appeals court upholds Somali pirate convictions

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-03 16:48:53-04

Richmond, Va. – The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond decided Friday to uphold the convictions of two Somali pirates who killed four Americans in 2011.

Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar were among 19 men who hijacked an American yacht – the Quest, off the coast of Somalia.

When confronted by the U.S. Navy, Beyle, Abrar and another pirate shot and killed the four Americans onboard the yacht.

Four pirates also died.

The locally-based USS Enterprise, USS Bulkeley, and USS Leyte Gulf, along with the San Diego-based USS Sterett were sent to assist with the capture.

The 15 captured pirates were held onboard the USS Enterprise before they were brought to Norfolk to be tried.

11 of the men pleaded guilty and received multiple life sentences.

Beyle and Abrar were tried for killing the Americans onboard the Quest. They each received 21 life sentences.

Both had appealed saying they did not receive fair trials. However, the three-judge panel said Friday that wasn’t the case.

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