Bali Bombers finally go on Trial in Guantanamo

Suspects of the Bali nightclub bombings in 2002 appeared in court for the first time on Monday after being held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center for 18 years.

The US military commission charged the three suspects with crimes including murder, conspiracy, and terrorism. 

“It’s almost 20 years later, witnesses have died, the landscape has changed dramatically. In my view, it’s fatal to the ability to have a fair trial,” Brian Bouffard, a lawyer for one of the accused said.

The arraignment hearing was delayed due to translation and interpretation problems but expected to resume on Tuesday.

According to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released in 2014, the three suspects were captured in Thailand in 2003 and later transferred to CIA “black sites” where they were tortured before their transfer to Guantanamo in 2006. 

The alleged bombing mastermind was the Indonesian Encep Nurjaman, also known as Riduan Isamuddin, leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian militant group with ties to al-Qaida. 

The other two were Malaysians Mohammed Farik bin Amin and Mohammed Nazir bin Lep Nurjaman, whom the US government claimed, recruited for jihadist operations.

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