Report: New trial dates for two Malaysians jailed in Guantanamo over terror attacks in Indonesia

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The US military court has fixed new hearing dates for two Malaysians suspected of terrorism activities that are currently held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, 20 months after their initial objections on the quality of their Malay translators.

According to a report by Free Malaysia Today (FMT), Brian Bouffard, the lead counsel for one of the two suspects Mohammed Nazir Lep said a two-week hearing has been set to start on April 24.

However, he said they will raise objections over the three Malay interpreters whom the US government has reassigned.

“One of them is a former attorney-client privileged linguist which raises a conflict of interest, another is a former confidential interpreter for all three, and the other is the one who had stated she wished the three had been murdered in custody as the government is wasting all this time and money by trying them,” Brian told the news portal in an email response.

Nazir is currently facing a joint trial with another Malaysian Mohammed Farik Amin and Indonesian Encep Nurjaman, who was known as Hambali and the former military leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, which is linked with Al-Qaeda.

The lawyer said that his team would be addressing the interpreter issues that had been lingering without resolution for nearly 20 months, the continuing delay of the case, and the government’s failure to disclose evidence.

“Nazir is hopeful the judge will ensure this upcoming hearing will be a fair one, unlike his unfair arraignment in August 2021.

“He does not want any further delay and wants a fair trial, with all the relevant evidence, as soon as possible. He has been consistent in this position ever since he was captured 20 years ago,” he told FMT.

The three suspects are facing eight joint charges, with seven related to the twin bombings that killed 202 people in Bali in October 2002 and a bombing at the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta in August 2003 that killed twelve and injured 150 people.

They were arrested in Thailand in 2003 and put under solitary confinement in secret black sites operated by the CIA and subjected to “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” before being moved to Guantanamo Bay in 2006.