(AP) — A U.S. judge rejected an attempt by seven Trinidadian men to overturn their convictions in a hostage-taking that resulted in the death of a 62-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen.


The men argued their convictions should be invalidated because the victim did not meet naturalization qualifications.

In his March 23 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates in Washington, D.C., said the seven did not have standing to launch proceedings to revoke the U.S. citizenship of the victim.

Gunmen snatched Balram Maharaj from a bar in Trinidad in April 2005 and held him for ransom. The body of the Vietnam War veteran was found in a forest in January 2006.

The men were convicted in a U.S. trial in 2009.