South Korean Court Affirms Life Sentence for Somali Pirate

Posted September 8th, 2011 at 3:36 am (UTC-5)
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A South Korean appeals court has upheld a life sentence for a Somali pirate convicted in the hijacking of a South Korean ship in the Arabian Sea earlier this year.

The conviction of 23-year-old Mahomed Araye was handed down in May by a district court in the southern city of Busan.

Araye was one of 13 pirates who stormed the chemical carrier Samho Jewelry in mid-January and held its captain and 21 crew members hostage. The ship was freed six days later in a raid by South Korean special forces. Eight pirates were killed, while Araye and four others were captured and taken to Busan for trial.

The ship's captain was the only crewmember to be injured in the raid. Araye was convicted of attempted murder for shooting the captain.

The court upheld sentences of 13 to 15 years for three other pirates, but reduced the final pirate's sentence from 15 to 12 years. The judges took into account his remorse for what he had done.