Drama emerges in piracy-murder trial

Navy SEALs heard one of the hijackers on the radio threatening the hostages lives, “I am holding these people. They are like meat,” he said. “I will eat if you head my way.”

High seas drama emerges in piracy-murder trial

By Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times

NORFOLK, Va. — As heavily armed pirates held an American sailboat off the coast of Somalia in February 2011, Navy SEALs on the bridge of the guided missile destroyer Sterett heard one of the hijackers on the radio threatening the lives of his four American hostages.

“I am holding these people. They are like meat,” he said. “I will eat if you head my way.”

What happened next is providing riveting testimony in a federal courtroom here as three rail-thin Somali men in baggy coats face the first U.S. murder trial of piracy suspects in nearly two centuries.

Prosecutors say the dead Americans — boat owners Scott and Jean Adam of Marina del Rey and their friends Robert Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle — were shot by pirates who had hoped to hold them for ransom and refused to surrender them to Navy negotiators.

“They were bent on money, bent on avoiding capture and willing to dispose of innocent life to meet these goals,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Brian Samuels told jurors in opening arguments.

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Source: LA Times.

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