Families of British rugby players killed in the 2002 Bali terror attack have travelled to Guantanamo Bay to witness the sentencing of two men involved in the plot. The trip marks a significant step in their lengthy quest for justice. Due to a plea deal, the accused will serve six years.
Dan Miller, 31, was one of the victims. He had been married for just five weeks when he was killed on the Indonesian island of Bali. He was part of an expat rugby team called the Vandals who were on tour in Bali. On the night of the attack, they were at a local bar called the Sari Club. The bombings, orchestrated by al-Qaeda, resulted in 202 deaths, including 28 Britons and 11 members of the Vandals.
Since then, families of the victims have been fighting a 21-year battle for answers and justice. This led them to the special military courtroom at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay where they were able to read victim impact statements.
The two Malaysians convicted, Mohammed Bin Lep and Mohammed Bin Amin, admitted to conspiring to carry out the Bali bombings. Despite claims of torture and mistreatment, the families insist that the focus should remain on the victims.
The legal process has been challenging and confusing for the families. Despite this, they believe it’s important to seek justice for their loved ones. The two men were sentenced to 23 years but will only serve six due to their plea deal.
Military prosecutors now hope to use testimony from Bin Lep and Bin Amin in the trial of the alleged plot ringleader, known as Hambali. His trial could start next year, although further delays are expected.
Despite the sentencing, the families acknowledge that no amount of justice can bring back their loved ones. They continue to honour their memory through various means, including setting up a charity for burn survivors and establishing a memorial in London.