A federal court on Wednesday sentenced a Somali man to nearly 34 years
in prison for acts related to high-seas piracy.
Prosecutors say Abduwali Muse acted as the ringleader when he and three other men seized the U.S-flagged Maersk Alabama by force about 350 miles off the coast of Somalia on April 8, 2009.
Once on board, the armed men demanded the ship be stopped, then took a lifeboat and held the captain of the ship, Richard Phillips, hostage on it.
Muse, who entered a guilty plea last May, apologized in the New York courtroom on Wednesday.
"I'm sorry very much for what happened to victims on ship. I am very sorry about what I caused," he said. "I was recruited by people more powerful than me. I got my hands into something more powerful than me and I am sorry.
"I ask forgiveness for all the people I harmed and the U.S. government."