NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A jury in Virginia has convicted five Somali men of piracy for their attack on a U.S. Navy ship off the coast of Africa.
Jurors returned the guilty verdict Wednesday in Norfolk after deliberating 10 hours over two days. The verdict is the first piracy conviction in a U.S. courtroom in nearly 200 years.
The conviction carries a mandatory life term.
The defendants were charged with attacking the USS Nicholas on April 1 as it patrolled off the coast of Somalia.
The men claimed they were fishermen who were kidnapped, beaten and forced into piracy.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)