Somali ambassador won't appear at pirate hearing
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The Somali ambassador to the United Nations won't appear at a court hearing for a Somali man charged with piracy, despite being issued a subpoena to testify.
Norfolk attorney James Broccoletti says the State Department has informed him that Elmi Ahmed Duale has invoked diplomatic immunity.
Broccoletti had wanted Duale to testify during an evidentiary hearing on Thursday for Mohammad Saaili Shibin. Shibin is charged in connection with the hijacking of a German merchant ship and U.S. yacht, in which all four Americans on board were killed. Prosecutors say he was a negotiator who is the highest-ranking pirate the U.S. has captured.
Broccoletti contends the charges should be dismissed because the U.S. lacks the jurisdiction to prosecute Shibin.
Shibin was captured in Somalia by the FBI and was never extradited.