Mogadishu: A court in Somalia`s breakaway
state of Puntland has sentenced a pirate ringleader to death
for executing the Pakistani skipper of a hijacked cargo ship.
Seven other pirates who took part in the assault on
the Panama-flagged MV QSM Dubai in early June were handed jail
terms yesterday ranging from 10 to 17 years and some were also
ordered to pay fines of some USD 2,000.
"Salah Mohamed Gelle, the first defendant was found
guilty of killing the captain Sayid Jacfar and therefore was
sentenced to execution," said Mohamed Yusuf, the presiding
judge at the court in Bossaso, Puntland`s business capital.
The pirates hijacked the vessel off the Gulf of Aden
as it headed to Bossaso in the Internationally Recommended
Transit Corridor, where patrolling by international navies is
the most intense. When local security forces attempted to free
the vessel, the pirates killed the Pakistani captain.
The MV QSM Dubai, which had set sail from Brazil, had
a crew of 24 from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ghana.