The defense lawyer for three men convicted of plotting to bomb the US and British
embassies will write a letter to the Appeal Court requesting a trial date be set
Kao Soupha, who is representing two Thai nationals and one Cambodian, said he will
write to the Appeal Court in early August and urge them to reconsider the case against
Thai Muslims Abdul Azi Haji Chiming, 35, and Muhammad Yalaludin Mading, 41, along
with Cambodian Cham Sman Ismael, 24 , were found guilty of conspiring to commit terrorism
and were sentenced to life in prison after a one-day trial on December 28, 2004.
The key witness in the trial was a mototaxi driver who claimed to have heard the
men plotting the attacks in English with an associate of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) leader
Hambali, despite later admitting he did not speak English.
During a visit on April 27, Sman Ismael told his family that American FBI agents
had interviewed him, showing him about 50 photos of suspects. Ismael said he did
not recognize any of the faces and was relieved that his photo was not included.
"I asked them to release me, but they did not reply to that," Ismael said.
The Cham Muslim said policemen at the prison had admitted they knew he was innocent
and that the key witness was arranged by police, but said they could not release
him because the court had already ruled and the case was a political issue.
"I still hope that one day I will get out [because] I did not commit any crime,"
Ismael said. "If I were involved with the JI group, I would have run away [before
Om Yentieng, an advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen and head of the government's human
rights committee, said he had visited Ismael's family in Kampot and met around 60
villagers two months ago.
"I have explained to them that by law I don't have the right to release him,
but they can file an appeal," Yentieng said.
Yentieng and at least two representatives of the US Embassy had questioned Ismael's
family days prior to his arrest, according to an interview with relatives on March
The wives of the Thai men made their second visit on July 12, Soupha said.