US court in Virginia hears 2 Somali pirates’ appeals

A federal appeals court in Virginia heard arguments in the case of two Somali pirates convicted in the shooting deaths of four Americans aboard a yacht.

Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar were sentenced to 21 life terms for their roles in the 2011 attack off the coast of Africa.

The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals conducted a hearing Thursday and is expected to rule in several weeks.

Beyle and Abrar were among 19 men who boarded the yacht in hopes of holding the Americans for ransom.

The plan fell apart when the U.S. Navy intervened.

Yacht owners Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were killed. Four pirates also died.

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