Somali pirate ringleader sentenced to death

MOGADISHU, Tuesday 28 September 2010 (AFP) - 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 on the Panama-flagged MV QSM Dubai in early June were handed jail terms on Monday ranging from 10 to 17 years and some were also ordered to pay fines of some 2,000 dollars.

"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 from Brazil, had a crew of 24 from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ghana.

MySinchew 2010.09.28