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Somali piracy suspects set for US arraignment - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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NORFOLK, Virginia (AP) – A group of Somali nationals accused of pirate attacks on two U.S. Navy ships off Africa are due in a Virginia courtroom to enter pleas to the charges.

Arraignments are scheduled Friday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Norfolk for nine of 11 defendants. One entered a not guilty plea on Wednesday. Another is expected to plead next week.

Attorneys representing the remaining defendants complained at Wednesday’s hearing that they needed more time to explain the government’s accusations with a Somali interpreter present. Some said they had spent only 30 minutes with their clients and were not confident they understood U.S. court procedures.

None of the defendants speak English. All face mandatory life terms, if convicted.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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