Bali bomb trial 'can't be in US'

AN AUSTRALIAN lawyer whose son was killed in the 2002 Bali bombing has claimed that a trial in Washington of alleged terrorist Riduan Isamuddin could jeopardise chances of convicting him over the nightclub attacks that killed 202 people.

Former magistrate Brian Deegan, whose 21-year-old son Josh was among 88 Australians who died in the attack, said yesterday that Isamuddin – Osama bin Laden's alleged lieutenant, also known as Hambali – should be tried in Indonesia where the outrage was committed.

President Barack Obama's administration is conducting an intense security review as part of a plan that could bring the notorious Guantanamo Bay inmate and two associates to Washington for trial, officials have confirmed.

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Hambali is believed to be the main link between al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah, the terror group blamed for the 2002 bombing at two Bali nightclubs.

Deegan conceded a trial in Washington would be "more open" than one in Indonesia, but he fears legal challenges to Hambali's detention in secret CIA prisons – and the intense interrogation he faced there – could stop any trial in the US courts. Hambali was taken into CIA custody in 2003.

Deegan said: "It just seems to me to be awkward and perhaps opening up a can of worms and a can of defences if the Americans try him in America."