WASHINGTON — A military panel at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba recommended 23 years in detention Friday for two Malaysian men in connection with deadly 2002 bombings in Bali, a spokesman for the military commission said.
The recommendation, following guilty pleas earlier this month under plea bargains for longtime Guantanamo detainees Mohammed Farik Bin Amin and Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep, marks comparatively rare convictions in the two decades of proceedings by the U.S. military commission at Guantanamo.
Guantanamo military commission spokesman Ronald Flesvig confirmed the sentencing recommendations.
The extremist group Jemaah Islamiyah killed 202 Indonesians, foreign tourists and others in two nearly simultaneous bombings at nightspots on the resort island of Bali.
The two defendants denied any role or advance knowledge of the attacks but under the plea bargains admitted conspiring over time with the network of militants responsible. The sentence recommendation still requires approval by the senior military authority over Guantanamo.
The two are among a total of 780 detainees brought to military detention at Guantanamo under the George W. Bush's administration's “war on terror” following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. There have been only a handful of convictions over the years — eight, according to one advocacy group, Reprieve.
Defendants in some of the biggest attacks, including 9/11, remain in pretrial hearings. Prosecutors…