Three Guantanamo Bay inmates charged with the deadly 2002 Bali nightclub bombings have had their first day in court.
Indonesian prisoner Encep Nurjaman, known as Hambali, and two Malaysians began their arraignment during a hearing at the US base in Cuba, which repeatedly stalled over problems with interpreters in the courtroom.
The three, who have been imprisoned for 18 years, are charged with murder, conspiracy and terrorism.
It’s the first step in what could be a lengthy legal journey for a case involving evidence compromised by CIA torture, an issue that has left other war crimes crimes in Guantanamo languishing for years.
The hearing also comes as the Biden administration says it plans to close the detention center, where the US is still holding 39 of the 779 men killed in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan. arrested.
The three men charged in the nightclub bombings were held in secret CIA detention for three years, followed by another 15 at the isolated US base in Cuba.
“It’s almost 20 years later, witnesses have died, the landscape has changed dramatically,” Brian Bouffard, a lawyer for Mohammed Nazir bin Lep, one of the Malaysians, said before the hearing. “In my opinion, it’s fatal to the ability to have a fair trial.”