Bali Bombing Conspirators Get 5 More Years at Guantánamo Bay


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A military jury at Guantánamo Bay sentenced two prisoners to 23 years in confinement on Friday for conspiring in the 2002 terrorist bombing that killed 202 people in Bali, Indonesia. But the men could be freed by 2029 under a secret deal and with sentencing credit.

Mohammed Farik Bin Amin and Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep, both Malaysians, have been held by the United States since the summer of 2003, starting with three years in C.I.A. black site prisons where they were tortured. They pleaded guilty to war crimes charges last week.

About a dozen relatives of tourists who were killed in the attacks spent an emotional week at the court and testified to their enduring grief. A jury of five U.S. military officers, assembled to decide a sentence in the 20-to-25-year range, returned 23 years after deliberating for about two hours on Friday.

But, unknown to the jurors, a senior Pentagon official reached a secret agreement over the summer with the defendants that they would be sentenced to at most six more years. In exchange for the reduced sentence, they were required to provide testimony that might be used at the trial of an Indonesian prisoner, known as Hambali, who is accused of being a mastermind of the Bali bombing and other plots as a leader of the Qaeda affiliate group Jemaah Islamiyah.

Then, separately, the judge, Lt. Col. Wesley A. Braun, cut 311 days off Mr. Bin Amin’s sentence and 379 days off Mr. Bin Lep’s because prosecutors missed court deadlines for turning over evidence to defense lawyers as they prepared their case.

But the men could go home earlier. “The pretrial agreement contemplates the possibility of repatriation before the sentence is complete,” said Brian Bouffard, Mr. Bin Lep’s lawyer. When they are returned, he added, it will be to Malaysia’s state-run deradicalization program and a lifetime of monitoring by national security authorities.

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Bali Bombing Conspirators Get 5 More Years at Guantánamo Bay

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