The only Somali pirate that Americans can look to for justice in the hostage taking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama was walked into a federal court in New York yesterday— with a smile on his face. Many wondered whether his smile was one of pride or simply that of a teenager struggling to grasp the situation he’s gotten himself into. Partially because no one is sure how old the Somali Pirate suspect actually is. While a Magistrate ruled yesterday that the suspect, Abduhl Wali-i-Musi is old enough to be tried in federal court. His age will be just one of many thorny issues among for prosecutors and his defenders to hash out in court. Helping us understand the legal issues in play is Neil Quartaro, a lawyer with the International Litigation group and an adjunct associate professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs where he teaches Maritime Law.
Here is a CBS News report on the pirate's day in court: