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Published Friday, November 08, 2013

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Jurors hear alleged pirate make demands on call, but also offer calming word after

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER Associated Press , The Associated Press - WASHINGTON

Jurors in the piracy trial of a Somali man who served as a translator during a hostage siege heard him making demands on a recorded phone conversation with a negotiator for the ship' owner.

But the ship's captain at Ali Mohamed Ali's trial also testified this week that Ali whispered a comforting word to him after the call was over: "Bluffing."

The two images _ an aggressive negotiator and a calming presence _ are at the center of Ali's trial. The government alleges that Ali negotiated a ransom on behalf of Somali pirates during a 2008 takeover of a Danish merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden. Ali's lawyers say he was essentially a prisoner himself and tried to help the crew as best he could.

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