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United States v. Ali Mohamed Ali

718 F.3d 929 (2013)

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United States v. Ali Mohamed Ali

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

718 F.3d 929 (2013)

Facts

In November 2008, CEC Future, a Danish-owned merchant ship flying a Bahamian flag, was captured by armed Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Ali Mohamed Ali (defendant) boarded the ship after it was captured and served as interpreter and negotiator on behalf of the pirates. The vessel’s owners ultimately paid a ransom to the pirates and a separate, personal payment to Ali. Except for a brief period in international waters, also known as the high seas, the ship remained in Somali territorial waters the entire time Ali was on board. In 2011, federal prosecutors lured Ali to the United States by emailing him a sham invitation to a fabricated education conference. Ali was arrested when his plane landed in the United States. Ali was indicted on several counts, including aiding and abetting piracy and conspiracy to commit piracy. The district court dismissed the conspiracy charge and narrowed the aiding-and-abetting charge to include only acts committed on the high seas. The United States (plaintiff) filed an interlocutory appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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