Fourteen charged over deaths

Thirteen Somalis and one Yemeni, accused of hijacking a 58ft yacht and killing its four American crew, have pleaded not guilty to the charges in a US federal court.

The men are charged with piracy, kidnapping and weapons possession, after the murder of Scott and Jean Adam (pictured above), Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle on board the Adams’ Davidson 58 pilot house cutter, Quest, on February 22.

The defendants were captured by US naval forces at the scene of the hijacking and the prosecution said that at least three of the accused killed the sailors without provocation.

But in court defendant Mohamud Salad Ali, speaking through an interpreter, said: ‘There’s nothing I know about these charges. I do not admit that I was a pirate.’

If convicted by the court in Norfolk, Virginia, the men face a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

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