Somali pirate arrives in NYC for court hearing today

Associated Press - April 21, 2009 3:13 AM ET

NEW YORK (AP) - The sole surviving Somali pirate from the U.S hostage-taking drama makes a federal court appearance today in New York.

Instead of handing him over to Kenyan authorities, the U.S. decided to bring Abduhl Wali-i-Musi to New York. He could face charges carrying a life sentence if convicted.

He smiled for photographers and reporters as federal agents led him into custody. He said nothing.

He was taken aboard a Navy ship shortly before snipers took down his three colleagues and freed Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama. Sine then, authorities have been trying to determine his age, and now say he is at least 18. It's rare for anyone younger than that to stand trial in federal court.

Wali-i-Musi is the first person to be tried in the United States on piracy charges in more than a century.

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