Two Somali pirates have been sentenced to life in prison for murdering four Americans, including a former producer on TV show The Love Boat
A US court has sentenced two Somali pirates to life in prison for their part in the killing of four Americans aboard a yacht in February 2011.
Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Abrar were convicted of murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking and piracy.
The men were two of 19 Somalis who boarded an American yacht off the Horn of Africa and held the crew hostage.
The victims included the yacht’s owners, Jean Adam and her husband Scott Adam, a producer who previously worked on TV show The Love Boat, and their two friends, Phyllis Patricia Macay and Robert Riggle.
The hostages were murdered when four days of negotiations with the US Navy broke down.
The American crew had been sailing round the world distributing bibles when they were kidnapped.
The men were planning to take the crew to Somalia and ransom them for millions of dollars.
However, talks between the pirates and US Navy broke down as the yacht was approaching Somalia.
The pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade at one of the US vessels after which gunshots were heard on board the yacht, said prosecutors.
Four of the Somali men died during the US Navy’s attempt to rescue the hostages and by the time they boarded the yacht, all four crew members had been fatally wounded.