A federal jury convicted a Somali hostage negotiator on Friday for participating in hijacking the Adams' yacht that eventually led to the couple’s murder.
Mohammad Saaili Shibin, 50, was convicted of all 15 counts he faced for pirating the Quest, the Adams' yacht, off the coast of Africa in February 2011. He was the chief ransom negotiator between 10 other Somali pirates aboard and the U.S. Navy for the lives of Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, and their friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle.
Before Navy SEALs could climb on board, the pirates executed the four U.S. citizens.
“Today’s verdict marks the conviction of the highest-ranking Somali pirate ever brought to the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride in a statement. “Mr. Shibin was convicted as a part of a hijacking that resulted in the summary execution of four Americans. His skills were essential to obtain a ransom for those who attacked the vessel and the financiers who paid for the attack.”
He faces a mandatory life sentence for charges that include conspiracy, violence against a vessel at sea and hostage-taking. Shibin is expected to be sentenced on Aug. 13.