Tuesday, July 24, 2012
By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
WASHINGTON—A judge has ordered the release of an alleged Somali pirate while the government pursues an appeal that could delay his trial until next year.
The trial of Ali Mohamed Ali was scheduled to begin next week. But prosecutors said Tuesday they planned to appeal portions of a pretrial ruling by U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle that went against the government, likely delaying the case for months.
Huvelle said she didn't think it was fair to continue to hold Ali. She agreed to have him stay under home confinement at a friend's house in Centreville, Va., while his trial is pending. The judge also dismissed two of the four counts against Ali.
Ali is accused of negotiating a ransom payment during a 2008 pirate takeover of a Danish merchant ship.