CHICAGO (AP) — An appeals court in Chicago says a Somali pirate depicted in a Hollywood movie can’t withdraw his guilty plea on the grounds that he was 16 during the 2009 attack on the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama and shouldn’t have been prosecuted as an adult.
The 2013 movie “Captain Phillips” about the hijacking stars Tom Hanks.
Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse was the lone surviving pirate. Navy snipers killed the others.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week Muse was bound by a plea deal pledge not to challenge his conviction.
A lower court determined he was at least 18. Muse argues birth certificates are rare in Somalia. He says feared he’d spend life in prison if he didn’t plead guilty. He’s serving a nearly 34-year prison term in Indiana.
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