11 Suspected Pirates to Appear in Virginia Court

July 28, 2010

Eleven Somali nationals accused in separate attacks on two U.S. Navy ships are due in a Norfolk courtroom for arraignment on piracy and other charges.

The defendants are scheduled to appear Wednesday before judges in separate federal courtrooms to enter pleas on the piracy charges and other counts contained in a superseding arraignment handed up earlier this month.

Six of the men are accused in the April 10 attack on the USS Ashland. Five are charged with an alleged April 1 attack on the USS Nicholas. The Virginia-based ships were patrolling pirate-infested waters off Africa.

The piracy charge carries a mandatory life term. All entered not guilty pleas at their previous arraignment.

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