Trial of Somali pirates could be held in the United States
JERUSALEM -- As FBI agents yesterday began investigating the deaths of four Americans whose yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, U.S. officials were mulling whether to bring captured suspects to America to face justice.
Fifteen Somalis -- as well as the bodies of the four Americans and four Somalis -- remained aboard the USS Enterprise off the coast of Oman, where the high-seas hijacking ended tragically Tuesday with the shooting deaths of two couples, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and Phyllis Macay and Robert Riggle of Seattle.
The U.S. military says Navy SEALs boarded the yacht after pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an American warship following it and that they found the four hostages already shot.
Legal experts predicted that the Justice Department would move to bring the pirates to the United States for trial in an American courtroom.
"The fact that there are four dead Americans will make the U.S. more interested in taking this case, rather than referring it to a foreign country," said Michael Passman, a Chicago attorney who has written about piracy law.
"The U.S. may try to use this case as an example to show that they remain committed to anti-piracy."