AFP announces opt-in registration process for victims of Indonesian terrorist events in 2002/2003

The AFP is taking opt-in registrations of interest from Australian survivors and bereaved next of kin (NoK) of victims of the 2002 Bali Bombings and 2003 J.W. Marriott Jakarta Bombing.

The Registration of Interest process will enable affected Australians to receive updates regarding the United States Military Tribunal proceedings for the trial of Riduan Isomudin Hambali and his two co-offenders for their involvement in these bombings.

Having recently commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 2002 Bali Bombings, the AFP acknowledges survivors and the bereaved next of kin of Indonesian terrorist events have individual wishes about receiving official updates from authorities.

Hambali also known as Encep Nurjman, was identified as the orchestrator of both bombings, and arrested in Thailand by Thai and US authorities in 2003.  

Hambali and his two co-accused were arraigned in the courtroom in Guantanamo Bay on 31 August 2021. Given the complexity of this international terrorism case, the trial date is difficult to predict, but it is expected to continue in 2023 and 2024.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Military Commissions has advised the AFP that Australian survivors and NoK may be able to attend the tribunal hearing in Guantanamo Bay, or view live-stream proceedings from a dedicated US location. 

Acting Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Sandra Booth said today the AFP understood that over the years, expectations and the needs of survivors and families impacted by the loss of loved ones may have changed over time. 

“We wish to provide survivors and family members the opportunity to refresh their current personal details in recognition of their relationship with the victim/s and to clearly understand individual's ongoing wishes around continued updates,” AC Booth said.

“The terrorist attacks in Bali in October 2002 murdered 88 Australians and changed the lives of thousands more. The 2003 JW Marriott Hotel bombings took a number of international lives and injured many, continuing to instil fear of ongoing attacks. The AFP continues to support victims and survivors through the US Military Tribunal holding key organisers to account.

“However, the AFP acknowledges recent commemorative activities and the ongoing US Military Tribunal may cause distress or strong emotions for many people. We will continue to support survivors and family members with respect to their own diverse needs and wishes at this time, and this opt-in registration process allows them to decide,” she said.

The US Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) within the Office of Military Commissions will provide the support to facilitate this from within the United States.

The FBI also wish to identify potential Australian witnesses (survivors and bereaved NoK of Victims) to give evidence before the Tribunal.

Impacted Australians can register their interest in receiving updates from the US DoD and VWAP through an opt-in process via the AFP website.

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