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Somali Territorial Waters Disputed In Murder Case Of Seattle Couple

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File image of Somali Pirates (U.S. Navy photo by Mass communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky (Released))

File image of Somali Pirates (U.S. Navy photo by Mass communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky (Released))

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Somalia’s territorial waters are in dispute in a murder case involving four U.S. citizens who were shot aboard their pirated yacht.

Somalis Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar face a number of charges that could bring them the death penalty arising from the February, 2011 hijacking of the yacht Quest.

The owners of the yacht, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., along with friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were shot to death about 40 nautical miles from the Somali coast.

Defense attorneys say the murder charges should be dismissed because the killings happened in Somali territorial waters, which they contend extend 200 miles from shore. In a filing Wednesday, prosecutors wrote that Somalia’s jurisdiction only extends 12 nautical miles.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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