KUALA LUMPUR — Efforts are being made to bring home two Malaysians detained by the United States (US) as terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Malaysian Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said on Monday (Sept 25).
In a Facebook post, he said he had raised the matter in a meeting with Ms Tina Kaidanow, who is the special representative for Guantanamo affairs, during his trip to New York recently.
This is the second time Mr Saifuddin has met Ms Kaidanow to discuss the matter following his visit to the US military installation commonly referred to as “Gitmo”.
“I personally met the two Malaysians who were detained at the prison there. I am really touched by their stories (the experience of being detained at the prison).
“Their stories were about life, repentance and a chance to become better persons.
“Insya-Allah (God willing), we are trying to expedite efforts to bring them home to Malaysia,” he wrote on Monday.
Mr Saifuddin was referring to Mohammed Nazir Lep and Mohamad Farik Amin, who were among seven people arrested for their alleged involvement in 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.
They were nabbed in Thailand in the same year and sent to secret Central Intelligence Agency black sites before being moved to Guantanamo Bay in 2006.
It was also reported that they were first charged in August 2021. The trial, however, could not proceed because the US government could not provide qualified Malay translators.
Earlier this year, Nazir’s defence lawyer, Brian Bouffard, expressed his frustration, blaming the US government for causing endless delays to the duo’s trial.
Mr Bouffard, who is based in the US, said he had filed a motion asking the US Military Commission at Guantanamo to set a date for a jury trial in December last year as suggested by the American government.
“But surprisingly, the government was opposing it, even though they were the ones who originally suggested it,” Mr Bouffard had said. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT