May 24, 2019

Somali Pirate jailed for 33 years in US

Pirate Muse - He is hardly a Jack Sparrow lookalike - how about Black Sparrow? He definitely needs a genuine pirate hat.

Somali pirate Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse has been sentenced to 33 years in prison after pleading guilty to piracy in a US court in New York.

Muse was the only survivor of a band of pirates who attacked the Maersk Alabama merchant ship off Somalia’s coast in April 2009.

He was captured by the US Navy after trying to escape from the Alabama in one of its lifeboats with its captain as hostage. Muse surrendered after three of his colleagues in the boat were shot dead by Navy sharp shooters. Not hard to do the math on that one to work out that surrendering is the smart option.

At sentencing Muse through a translator said he was “very sorry for what I did. I got my hands into something that was more powerful than me.”

Muse’s lawyers had sought the 27-year minimum sentence, but with the prosecutors in full Guantanamo mode he was not getting off that lightly.

Muse was portrayed as a ringleader of the pirate gang who seized the Maersk Alabama some 450km off the coast of Somalia.

US District Judge Loretta Preska waded in describing the pirates as “sadists”, noting they had subjected Capt Richard Phillips to a mock execution.

“They appeared to relish even their most depraved acts of physical and psychological violence,” she said.

So that was the end of Muse’s hopes of a minimum sentence which blew out six years to 33 years.

Obviously in the US is it ok to be a Pirate of the Caribbean and make huge sums of money. But a Pirate of the Indian Ocean? No that is unacceptable.