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S. Korean appeals court demand life imprisonment for Somali pirates

(Xinhua)

16:43, August 22, 2011

SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- A South Korean appeals court upheld a previous ruling and demanded the death penalty for a Somali pirate convicted of attempted murder of a South Korean captain on a hijacked ship, local reports said Monday.

The Busan High Court sentenced Mahomed Arai, 21, to death for shooting Seok Hae-kyun, captain of a South Korean-operated ship that was hijacked in the Arabian Sea in January.

Earlier this month, the court demanded life sentence for four other Somali pirates, overturning the lower court decision that had handed down prison terms of 13 to 15 years on them.

The pirates were captured when South Korean naval commandos stormed the hijacked ship, killing eight pirates and rescuing all 21 crew members.

The trial of the five pirates marked the country's first trial of foreign pirates. South Korea has not executed a death row inmate since 1997.

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