JI members to testify


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 08 Sep 2004

JAKARTA: Indonesia wants at least seven suspected Jemaah Islamiah (JI) members currently being held under the Internal Security Act in Malaysia to testify in the upcoming terror-related trial involving Abubakar Ba'asyir. 

Among the seven at the Kamunting detention centre in Taiping, who will testify against the 65-year-old radical cleric, are three Malaysians. 

Abubakar, who is the alleged JI leader, is awaiting formal terror-related charges after being re-arrested upon his completion of the 18-month jail term for minor immigration offences. 

Among those the Indonesian police want, it is learnt, is a “very important” Malaysian witness whose testimony they say could send the radical Indonesian cleric behind bars for a long time.  

Sources said that a team from the republic’s counter terrorism division had been in contact with its Malaysian counterpart and had recorded statements from the witnesses. 

They said the team would leave for Malaysia next week to meet and work out video conferencing details to enable the witnesses to testify once Abubakar is charged and the trial begins.  

Among the Malaysians who are expected to testify is former JI member and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer, Wan Min Wan Mat. Wan Min was the former Johor wakala (chief). 

Another Malaysian and former JI member, Nasir Abas, who is the group's Mantiqi III (regional chief) is also expected to testify against the cleric. 

Nasir, 35, who was recently released after serving a 10-month jail term in an Indonesian prison for immigration and forgery offences, is a protected witness here. 

He is currently helping Indonesian authorities arrest JI members besides helping rehabilitate those arrested. 

Nasir, when met here last Monday, told The Star he would be among several Malaysians who would testify. 

“I have some evidence but I cannot disclose them now. Wait for him to be charged and the trial to begin,” he added.  

Wan Min, 43, who taught property management at UTM, has a masters degree in construction project management from the Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, England. 

He was also the chairman of the Luqmanul Hakiem school board in Ulu Tiram, Johor, founded by Abdullah Sungkar and Abubakar. 

The school, which has been shut down, had produced several JI terrorists. 

Besides receiving arms training in Mindanao, southern Philippines, Wan Min also travelled to Afghanistan with other JI suspects. He also conducted religious studies at his house in Taman Sri Pulai, Johor, for JI members, according to intelligence sources. 

He also carried out at least five arms training session for up to 30 people each time at Gunung Ledang and Gunung Belumut in Johor as part of JI's preparations to carry out jihad (holy war). 

Sources said the prosecution had on its list the names of at least 55 witnesses for the trial. 

They said the team was also expected to visit several Asean countries where several other suspected JI members were being detained.  

Earlier Star exclusives:More than 100 marriages involve key JI members Plain coincidences, says Nasir 

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