November 25, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - Jurors in the piracy trial of a Somali man who served as a translator during a hostage siege heard him making demands on a recorded phone conversation with a negotiator for the ship' owner.
But the ship's captain at Ali Mohamed Ali's trial also testified this week that Ali whispered a comforting word to him after the call was over: "Bluffing."
The two images - an aggressive negotiator and a calming presence - are at the center of Ali's trial. The government alleges that Ali negotiated a ransom on behalf of Somali pirates during a 2008 takeover of a Danish merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden. Ali's lawyers say he was essentially a prisoner himself and tried to help the crew as best he could.