Torture testimony to resume in Somali piracy case

April 19, 2012 - 4:25 AM

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Testimony about torture aboard a hijacked German ship off the coast of Somalia is expected to resume during a federal piracy trial in Virginia.

A Ukranian crewmember aboard the Marida Marguerite told jurors Wednesday he was tortured in 2010 by Somali pirates.

The testimony was heard in the case of Mohammad Saaili Shibin, who's been charged with piracy, hostage-taking and other federal charges in connection with the ship's hijacking. Shibin also faces charges in the hijacking of an American yacht in which all four passengers were shot and killed. The trial resumes Thursday morning.

Prosecutors say Shibin acted as a hostage negotiator aboard the German ship for several months. Shibin's attorney contends he was merely acting as a mediator trying to help secure the release of the hostages.