Two Malaysian militants face trial in US military court tomorrow for involvement in fatal Bali, Jakarta bombings

·2-min read
— Reuters pic
— Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — The trial of two Malaysian militants accused of being part of the plot of several bombings in Indonesia in 2002 and 2003 that killed 230 people will begin at a military court in the United States tomorrow.

According to documents published by the US Office of Military Commissions, the trial for Mohammed Nazir Lep and Mohammed Farik Amin, who have been in custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2006, will finally commence following delays caused by Covid-19.

The Malaysians will be tried alongside Indonesian militant Encep Nujarman, also known as Hambali, who all of which according to the charge sheets were part of the 2002 Bali nightclub and 2003 Jakarta J.W. Marriott bombings.

A total of 202 people were killed and 28 more injured in the Bali bombings, and 12 deaths from the Jakarta Marriott attack.

It detailed how Nazir and Farik face nine charges, while Hambali faces eight, in relation to the terrorist attacks, for offences of conspiracy, attempted murder, murder, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, terrorism, destruction of property, and attacking civilians and civilian objects.

Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani was quoted by The Malaysian Insight that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) fully supported the duo being tried for their actions.

“Police fully support the trial because only through the legal process, the accused will be able to defend themselves. The trial is also conducted openly and the accused are represented by a lawyer.

Acryl said, however, PDRM will not be sending officers to the US to monitor the court proceedings.

According to reports, a US$10 million (RM41.95 million) bounty was placed on the heads of all three men by the US government for their capture but was eventually nabbed in a joint operation by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Thai authorities in 2003.

Reports included how the trio was arrested days before the Apec summit held in Bangkok where an attack against foreign delegates and leaders were in the works.

Court documents also tied the trio for allegedly being involved with the September 11 commercial plane hijackings in 2001 in New York.

The charge sheets also included how Nazir used monikers such as Bashir Lap, Lillie, while Farik also went around as Yazid Zubair, with both said to be linked to al-Qaeda and the South-east Asian militant organisation, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Militants JI were blamed for directly plotting the Bali bombings, where the majority of victims were foreigners from Australia and Britain besides Indonesian locals.

The charge sheets included how Hambali was a JI general who coordinated attacks in the region, especially in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia while actively recruiting new members in the region that included Nazir and Farik.

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