As a maritime lawyer, I have been following the developments related to the hijacking of the sailboat Quest, which was on a round-the-world trip with four persons on onboard when it was hijacked. All four were killed. A federal grand jury in West Virginia has now indicted a group of 14 pirates over the hijacking of the yacht last month. The grand jury has indicted 14 suspected pirates from Somalia and Yemen, in connection with this hijacking. According to the Justice Department, the 14 pirates face a range of criminal charges, including kidnapping, piracy and the use of firearms during the crime. If these pirates are convicted, they could be looking at a prison sentence for life. The four victims were on a round-the-world trip on their private yacht, when their craft was taken over by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea. All four were taken hostage, and the U.S. Navy began to negotiate their release. However, before the negotiation proceedings could be complete, the pirates shot and killed the four persons. US Special Forces then managed to capture the pirates. Seafarers have been facing a consistent and serious threat from piracy for years now. However, this particular hijacking has garnered more interest because it was the first time that American citizens have been killed as a result of pirate attacks.
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