Government responds to defense motions in Virginia piracy trial of Somali defendants

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The U.S. government says Somali nationals accused of piracy in an alleged attack on a Navy ship can get a fair trial in the home of the largest U.S. naval base.

Federal prosecutors argued in electronic filings Tuesday against a defense bid to move the trial somewhere in the country other than Norfolk.

They also argued against motions to dismiss the piracy charges.

The case involves six defendants accused in the April 10 attack on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's pirate-infested coast.

Five other Somali men are being prosecuted separately in Norfolk on charges related to a March 31 attack on the frigate USS Nicholas west of the Seychelles.