Somali teen charged with piracy, involved in Maersk Alabama case

Posted Apr 21, 2009 by Chris V. Thangham
American federal agents have brought to the U.S. a Somali teen, who was involved in the Maersk Alabama piracy incident. He becomes the first person to be charged for piracy for more than a century in the U.S.
Abdul Wali-i-Musi, 16, arrived in New York last night escorted by federal agents. He is the lone survivor, because the other three pirates were killed by US Navy SEAL snipers.
He will appear in court later today and will be formally charged with piracy and hostage-taking. He faces a possible life sentence.
His left hand appeared heavily bandaged. He was stabbed by a US crewmember during a struggle for control in the main ship.
While he was taken to the New York’s Southern District Court, her mother pleaded to President Obama to release him. She said her son was coerced into piracy by gangsters.
Adar Abdirahman Hassan, from her home in Galka’yo town in Somalia, told Times Online, UK.
I appeal to President Obama to pardon my teenager. I request him to release my son or at least allow me to see him and be with him during the trial.
The boy’s father, Abdiqadir Muse, also said his son was deceived by the gangsters. He said his son left the home only about 10 days ago for the first time.
Abdiqadir Muse told Times Online:
He just went with them without knowing what he was getting into.
US officials want to prosecute him as an adult, even though his parents claim he is only 16.
Ron Kuby, a New York-based civil rights lawyer, is planning to form a legal team to represent the Somali teen.
He questioned his arrest and whether the U.S. broke international maritime rules.
Kuby told Times Online:
This man seemed to come onto the Bainbridge under a flag of truce to negotiate. He was then captured. There is a question whether he is lawfully in American custody and serious questions as to whether he can be prosecuted because of his age.