Captured Somali Pirate En Route to New York to Face Charges
His mother is calling on President Barack Obama to pardon him or allow her to attend his trial.
If he needs character witnesses or mitigation witnesses, since he's indigent, the government will have to pay their travel expenses here. This sure is going to be an expensive trial for the U.S.
Update: Here's a good article on why Kenya was thought to be the place to try them. The US and EU recently signed agreeements with Kenya to try pirates. But, maybe there should be a special piracy tribunal, like the Hague. That would be expensive too. A former U.N. prosecutor who helped set up a special tribunal for Sierra Leone and indicted ousted Liberian President Charles Taylor says: [More...]
"The trend always has been to deal with it domestically. I would prefer to see it done by regional African states who are being impacted by these pirates."...Kenya is "probably the closest and best jurisdiction to do this," he said. "If I were the Obama administration, I would want to> see Africans doing something about this."As to US jusrisdiction, "under international law, Wal-i-Musi can be prosecuted in the United States because the Maersk Alabama was flying a U.S. flag and Americans were attacked."
Abduhl Wal-i-Musi, the sole surviving pirate in the kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips is en route to New York and expected to be brought before a U.S. Magistrate Judge tomorrow.
The government had considered handing him over instead to authorities in Kenya, which has an international agreement to prosecute pirates.
Officials decided to send him to trial in New York in part because the FBI office there has a history of handling cases in Africa involving major crimes against Americans, such as the al-Qaida bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.
His mother says he is 16 years old but authorities say he's between 18 and 20.
As I've written before, Kenya has been handing down 20 year sentences to pirates. There is no valid reason to bring this young pirate to the U.S. for charges. Our indigent defense system is burdened enough with crimes that occur in the U.S. This is an inappropriate use of our judicial resources.
Just another show trial. I expected better from the Obama Justice Department. What if he turns out to be a conscripted child soldier? There will be plenty of egg to go around the faces at DOJ then.
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