Bloomberg News

Three Somali Men Charged by U.S. With Piracy, Murder of Four

July 08, 2011

(Updates with U.S. attorney’s comment in fourth paragraph.)

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Three men from Somalia were charged in an updated indictment with the murder of four Americans on the yacht S/V Quest in February, the Justice Department said.

Ahmed Muse Salad, 25, Abukar Osman Beyle, 20, and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 29, face charges related to the armed takeover of the Quest, prosecutors said today in an e-mailed statement.

The men were among 14 defendants originally charged in March with piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and other crimes. The new 26-count superseding indictment adds charges of kidnapping and hostage taking resulting in death, which carry the death penalty or mandatory life in prison. The pirates seized the boat off the coast of Oman, killing the four American hostages four days later on Feb. 22, prosecutors say.

“The superseding indictment accuses these three men of summarily executing the hostages -- without provocation -- while the military was attempting to negotiate their release,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride in Alexandria, Virginia, said in the statement.

The Americans aboard the Quest were Scott and Jean Adam, who owned the yacht, from Marina del Rey, California, and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle of Washington state.

Stephen Hudgins, a lawyer for Abrar, and Lawrence Woodward, an attorney for Beyle, didn’t immediately return voice-mail messages after regular business hours. Paul Gill, an attorney for Salad, also didn’t immediately return a call after regular business hours.

The case is U.S. v. Salad, 11-cr-00034, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk).

--Editors: Michael Hytha, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in federal court in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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