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Two Plead Not Guilty To Erawan Shrine Bombing

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BANGKOK – Two ethnic minority Uighurs pleaded not guilty to bombing the Erawan shrine here last August, which left 20 people, including Malaysians, dead and more than 120 injured.

Mohamed Bilal, 31, alias Adam Karadeg, and Mierali Yusufu, 27, from Xinjiang, China claimed trial, via a translator when asked by the judge during a military court proceeding today.

“Not guilty to all charges,” they told the judge in connection with the 10 and eight charges levelled against Mohamed and Mierali, respectively.

Among the charges they faced were possession of explosive materials, using explosives to kill other people, carrying weapon, causing explosion, attempting pre-meditated murder, possessing ammunition and damaging property.

Mohamed, who was represented by lawyer, Schuchart Kanpai also faced additional charges for illegal entry into Thailand.

Meanwhile, Mierali, who was represented by a lawyer appointed by the military court, stated he wished to appoint a civilian lawyer to defend him during the court proceeding.

“I have been in jail for six months already and they have detained an innocent Muslim,” he told the court on his request to appoint a civilian lawyer in the hope to speed up his trial.

The court then set April 20-22 for inspection and examination of evidence by all parties.

The military court was in tight security cordon when the two defendants arrived at the compound from the 11th Military Circle in the Dusit District, where they were detained without bail since the arrest.

Mohamed was arrested by Thai security forces at an apartment in the Nong Chok district in the capital on Aug 29 last year, while Mierali was nabbed at the Thai-Cambodian border on Sept 1, last year. – BERNAMA

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