Friday July 24, 2009
Malaysian Gitmo duo to know fate after US probe
PHUKET: The United States will conduct its own investigations before deciding on the fate of the two Malaysian detainees at the soon-to-be closed Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman that Washington would inform Kuala Lumpur as soon as the investigations were over.
The two detainees – Mohd Farik Amin or Zaid (Zubair) and Mohammed Nazir Lep or Bashir Lep (Lillie) – have been held at the prison for alleged involvement in the Jemaah Islamiah and al-Qaeda militant groups since 2003.
Anifah, who had originally requested for a bilateral meeting with Clinton on the sideline of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) yesterday, was able to have a short conversation with her.
“We felt there was no need for a bilateral since the last meeting (in May) was too recent. I told her that we were investigating Washington’s claims on human trafficking cases in Malaysia.
“We are not saying it is happening but we are also not saying that it is not happening.
“The Prime Minister has informed the relevant agencies to investigate and we found out that a few immigration officers are involved in it,” Anifah told Malaysian journalists after attending the ARF.
The US has blacklisted Malaysia in its State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 which analysed efforts in more than 173 countries to combat human trafficking.
Anifah also said that Clinton expressed her interest to visit Malaysia.
At the forum, Anifah told the 27-member body that terrorism should not be associated with any country, race and religion.
“Everbody opposes and deplores terrorism. By labelling terrorism, it will create animosity.
“Malaysia will cooperate with all countries on the exchange of information on terrorism,” he added.
Anifah also dismissed a Thai newspaper report yesterday which said the militant group Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia (KMM) was hiding in southern Thailand, saying it was just an assumption by the Thai authorities.
The Bangkok Post said the KMM, which has close ties with the Al-Qaeda and other regional Islamic groups, had fled Malaysia and gone into hiding in Thailand’s southern provinces.