Trial resumes for suspects in 2015 Bangkok shrine bombing – Winnipeg Free Press

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai court docket on Tuesday resumed the long-delayed trial of two members of China’s Muslim Uyghur minority accused of finishing up a 2015 bombing at a Bangkok landmark that killed 20 individuals.

One other 120 individuals have been injured within the Aug. 17, 2015, bombing of the Erawan shrine, which is common amongst Chinese language and different vacationers.

Thai authorities have stated the bombing was revenge by a people-smuggling gang whose actions had been disrupted by a crackdown. Thailand cracked down on human traffickers earlier in 2015 after deserted camps for Rohingyas fleeing persecution in Myanmar and financial migrants from Bangladesh have been discovered within the jungles alongside the Thai-Malaysian border. Officers have given few particulars about what the hyperlink to the bombing is perhaps, however many Uyghurs attempt to escape persecution and tight management in China with the assistance {of professional} smugglers.

Nonetheless, some analysts suspect the bombing was the work of Uyghur separatists offended that Thailand in July that 12 months forcibly repatriated scores of Uyghurs to China. The shrine’s recognition amongst Chinese language vacationers appeared to assist the idea that the bombing had a political ingredient.

The defendants, Mieraili Yusufu and Bilal Mohammad, pleaded not responsible when the trial started in 2016 and stated they suffered mistreatment and torture in jail after their arrests. Police stated they consider Yusufu detonated the bomb minutes after a backpack containing the machine was left on the shrine by Mohammad.

The final session of their trial, which was delayed repeatedly by difficulties to find appropriate translators, was in 2019, stated Chuchart Kanpai, a lawyer for Mohammad. The case was then transferred from a army court docket that beforehand had jurisdiction to the civilian Bangkok Southern Felony Court docket after a return to elected civilian rule following a army coup. However the court docket proceedings have been then suspended through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe it’ll take two extra years earlier than we see any outcome. This 12 months the case received’t progress a lot. We will solely take two or three witnesses a day and we nonetheless have two to a few hundred witnesses left on the plaintiff’s aspect,” he stated.

The defendants are believed to be the one two suspects in custody out of 17 those that authorities stated have been chargeable for the bombing. A few of the different suspects are Turks, with whom Uyghurs share ethnic bonds.

Police stated the case towards the 2 defendants is supported by safety video, witnesses, DNA matching and bodily proof, along with the suspects’ alleged confessions.

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