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VOA News - Captured Somali Pirate to Stand Trial in US
A young Somali man, the only survivor of a pirate attack on a U.S. cargo ship earlier this month, is appearing before a U.S. federal judge Tuesday to face charges.

Abdiweli Muse will be the first person tried in the U.S. for piracy in more than a century, even as his parents plea for leniency.

U.S. officials said Muse is 18 years old, but Abdilkadir Muse, the teenager's father, told VOA's Somali service his son is only 16 and came under the influence of gangs and money.

The pirate's mother has appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama to release her son.

Muse was in handcuffs and shackled but smiled as he arrived at a federal detention center in New York City Monday night.

Muse and three other pirates seized control of the Maersk Alabama on April 8 as the tanker was carrying emergency food aid for East Africa.

Muse was injured in a skirmish with the crew and was in the custody of the U.S. military while his accomplices took the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, hostage.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:29:58 PM EST
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