( dpa ) - A leader of FARC, Colombia's largest leftist guerilla group, was sentenced to 60 years in a US prison on Monday for his role in conspiring to abduct three US citizens.
The sentence effectively means the 57-year-old Ricardo Palmera Pineda, known as Simon Trinidad, will spend the rest of his life locked up for the 2003 kidnappings of the three American contractors after their surveillance plane crashed in southern Colombia.
US prosecutors urged the judge to hand out a 60-year term instead of a life sentence in line with the 2004 extradition agreement with the Colombian government. Trinidad was sent to the United States to face the charges after being arrested in Ecuador for using fake identification.
Judge Royce C Lamberth, who imposed the sentence, said the hostage taking amounted to acts of terrorism and was "against the law of all civilized nations."
FARC, which stands for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, had demanded Trinidad's release as part of any swapping of its hostages, although Trinidad has said he was willing to remained jailed in the United States to not interfere with any negotiations for the release of hostages.
FARC holds hundreds of hostages, including the three Americans, Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell and Thomas Howes.