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10 years on, Bali families seek justice

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iol pic wld Indonesia Bali Bombings Anniversary~2

Relatives of British victims of the 2002 Bali bombings called for the release of a final suspect being held in Guantanamo Bay so he can stand trial, as they prepare to mark Friday's 10th anniversary.

The only suspect who has not yet been tried is Hambali, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, who has been detained at the US naval base on Cuba since 2006, accused of having financial links to al-Qaeda.

About 202 people, including 28 British citizens, died in the blasts on the Indonesian island of Bali, on its party strip in Kuta.

Susanna Miller's 31-year-old brother Dan Miller was killed and his wife Polly seriously wounded in the attacks. She called for Hambali, whose real name is Riduan Isamuddin, to be brought before a court.

“We have been campaigning very hard over the years for him to stand trial,” the 45-year-old said, calling his detention in Guantanamo an “open travesty of human rights”.

“It plays brilliantly into hands of the recruiting sergeants for al-Qaeda.

“We find ourselves in this slightly curious position of fighting for the rights of one of the people responsible for the deaths of our relatives.”

Miller visited Britain's Foreign Office last week to discuss the matter.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed it was being looked into.

“My brother was a lawyer, he believed in justice, he believed in the rule of law and it's particularly invidious that the single most important trial has not taken place and the detention of this terrorist actively helps recruit others,” she said.

Hambali was considered the operational chief of al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) until his capture in Thailand in 2003. He was held for three years in secret CIA prisons before being moved to Guantanamo.

Relatives of the British victims have organised a service at a church in central London to mark the anniversary.

There will also be a closed service organised by the Foreign Office, at the memorial to the victims outside the ministry.

“The more time passes, the more you realise what they have lost and the more family events they miss,” Miller said.

She said there was a “sense of community” between the victims' families: at her father's funeral last year five other such families attended.

“I think most people would say it has split their lives in half - pre-Bali and post-Bali,” Miller added.

“All you can do is live a new life, because you can never change what that bomb has done to us, and continues to do.” - AFP


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