In this New York courtroom sketch, piracy suspect Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse cries as the judge asks his lawyer about Muse’s family and age.
Whether or not Abduwali Abukhadir Muse is 15, as his father claims, he will be tried in New York as an adult for his alleged role in holding an American ship captain as a hostage. Muse’s mother, on the other side of the world, has asked President Obama for mercy, or to at least let her be with her son.
In what could be the first U.S. piracy case in 100 years, the judge ruled that Muse’s father was not credible in determining his son’s age.
A court-appointed attorney said Muse’s father gave his birthday as Nov. 20, 1993, which would make him 15. But prosecutors have said Muse has told them he is of majority age, which would exempt prosecutors from extra legal steps to try him in an American court.
Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck said in court Tuesday afternoon that he spoke to the defendant’s father in Somalia by telephone through an interpreter and determined that the father is not a credible witness. The judge ruled that Muse is of majority age and thus can be tried as an adult.