Three prisoners at Guantanamo Bay detention camp are scheduled to get their day in court on Monday after being held for 18 years in connection with the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings and other incidents in Southeast Asia, according to an Associated Press report. The three prisoners including Indonesian prisoner Encep Nurjaman, also known as Hambali, bin Lep Mohammed Fariq bin Amin.
The three prisoners will be arraigned in front of a military commission on charges including murder, conspiracy and terrorism. The arraignment is only the first step in what could be a long legal process for a case that allegedly involves evidence “tainted” by the CIA, US’ intelligence agency.
The hearing for the three Guantanamo detainees comes as the United States prepares to shut Guantanamo, a detention centre that remained a secret to the world for years. US still holds 39 out of 779 people arrested in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and invasion of Afghanistan.
While the arraignment is scheduled, it is still uncertain if it will actually take place. Lawyers have sought more time as they say they did not have adequate access to interpreters and other resources to mount an effective defence. The accused, however, will show up for the hearing.
A Navy judge will preside over the case in the commission and is expected to consider the question before charges are presented in a secure courtroom. The prime accused, Encep Nurjaman, is said to be a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian militant group with ties to the al-Qaida. According to the US, Nurjaman recruited militants for “jihadist” operations.
Among the terror plots carried out by Jemma Islamiyah and al-Qaida in collaboration are: the October 2002 suicide bombings of Paddy’s Pub and the Sari Club in Bali, Indonesia and the August 2003 suicide bombing at JW Marriott in Jakarta Indonesia. The attacks cumulatively killed 213 people, including seven Americans, and injured 109 people, including six US citizens.
US prosecutors allege bin Lep and Mohammed Farik bin Amin were intermediaries in transfer of money to fund Jemaah Islamiya’s operations.
(With inputs from Associated Press)