A Somali teenager captured by the US during the rescue of an American sea captain from pirates has appeared in a federal court in New York. The judge briefly closed the trial to the public until he had clarified whether Abde Wale Abdul Kadhir Muse was a juvenile as his mother claimed.

ransom2The judge re-opened the trial, saying the suspect would be tried as an adult. The teenager will be the first person to face piracy charges in the US in over a century, US media reports say. He cried at the hearing on Tuesday, Associated Press news agency reported.

Earlier, his mother appealed to US President Barack Obama to free him. Adar Abdurahman Hassan told the BBC her son was innocent and just 16 years old. The teenager is accused of being a member of the pirate gang which boarded the Maersk Alabama container ship on 8 April and took Capt Richard Phillips hostage in a lifeboat.



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