Ignorant of Crime

A group of accused pirates have pleaded not guilty to charges over the hijacking of a yacht that ended with the deaths of four US sailors.

The thirteen Somalis and a Yemeni are charged in US federal court with piracy, kidnapping and weapons charges after the deaths of four US citizens onboard the yacht, Quest.

The suspected pirates were captured by US naval forces sent to the scene of the hijacking.

If convicted by the court in Norfolk, in the US state of Virginia, the men face a mandatory sentence of life in prison. “There’s nothing I know about these charges,” defendant Mohamud Salad Ali said through an interpreter on Tuesday. “I do not admit that I was a pirate.”

A tentative trial date has been set for 17 May.

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