Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bail again denied to alleged terrorists

Bail again denied to alleged terrorists

Bail again denied to alleged terrorists

Three men facing charges of being members of a banned Islamic terrorist organisation,

had their bid for temporary bail denied for a second time by the Cambodian Supreme

Court on February 4 after a five hour hearing.

Two Thai Muslims, Abdul Azi Jahki Chuiming, 35 and Muhammad Yalaudin Mading, 41 and

an Egyptian, Esam Mohammed Khidr Ali, 40 who are accused of being members of Jemaah

Islamiyah (JI), said they were finding conditions very difficult in Prey Sar prison

because there was no Islamic food and they could not get enough sleep in their cells.

Judge Som Sereyvuth said the three were accused on May 25, 2003 of being members

of an international terrorism organisation Jemaah Islamiyah. He said the organisation

was involved in committing serious crimes, and had a large and complicated network

that was difficult to monitor.

Sereyvuth said the defendants had no proper residence in Cambodia and that if they

were temporarily released from prison on bail they could easily elude the police.

Defence counsel Kao Soupha said his clients were not guilty and had been held in

custody for longer than the law allowed. They had been in Prey Sar prison for eight

months and nine days. Furthermore they were arrested without a warrant from the court.

Judge Sereyvuth disagreed with Soupha's claims, saying the authorities could arrest

terrorist suspects whenever they wanted to.

Soupha said the refusal of bail was unjust and he was considering whether he should

file a complaint to the Constitutional Council or the King or to the Minister of

Justice, calling for an immediate verdict by the court in respect of these three

men.

According to the law, the court can hold defendants in prison for six months and

during that time the court must produce evidence of guilt, otherwise they must be

released.

Bail requested by the three defendants was previously declined at the Appeals Court

on September 15, 2003.

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