Transcript: Press conference Q&A with victim of the 2003 Jakarta hotel bombing

Transcript of the military commission press conference Q&A with Patricia Pond on Feb. 29, 2012: 

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia. SOURCE: Department of Defense / Sgt. 1st Class Robert Stephenson

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Good afternoon.”

Question: 
“Just tell us a little bit about yourself and why you chose to make the trip to Guantanamo here today.”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Good question. We decided to come down just to see the process, and we thought it would be interesting to kind of follow through and kind of bring closure.”

Read more: “High value” Guantanamo detainee pleads guilty to terrorism charges

Question: 


“What impact did the bombing at the Marriott have on you personally?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Um, well I was injured. I had quite a few injuries. But, you know, my life went on… I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking.”

Question: 

“What I’m getting at is what your personal connection was to the bombing and why it would have brought you all this distance, and what it was like to sit in that courtroom and see the man who provided the money for that attack?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“I was at the Marriott – I was actually in Indonesia on business – and having lunch at the hotel in the Marriott when the explosion went off, when the bomb went off.

“And I’ve gotten to know some of my associates – business associates who are Indonesian. We kind of bonded after that. We spent about 10 days in the hospital in Singapore. We were airlifted to Singapore. So you kind of bond with these people.


“I went back to Jakarta about 5 years after the bombing and saw the people again. So I have a connection with them.

“And like I said, this was just another means of closure and seeing the process through.”

Question: 

“And what was it like to personally see Majid Khan in court today? Did you have any feelings about that?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“No strong feelings. You know, the person who actually drove the bomb is obviously – or drove the truck – is long gone. And the people who – you know, Majid Khan was not one of the ones who actually planned that specific terrorist event. So not very strong feelings.”

Question: 

“Very briefly. Are you satisfied with the sentence?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Yes. It seems fair to me.”

Question: 

“Will you be back for sentencing? Did this provide that closure you actually thought? And I think you were watching the press conference. Do you detect the remorse that’s been spoken of on behalf of Majid Khan?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“I can’t say I personally saw remorse because I haven’t spoken to him but I have heard through various people that there is remorse, which, you know what, I think that’s great but…

“As to whether I would return for sentencing? I think the first question is, you know, would I be invited back for it? So…”

Question: 

“Would you like to testify or speak at sentencing?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“I don’t feel a need to do that. I don’t feel any anger or a need for vengeance against anybody.”

Question: 

“Apparently the mastermind is here in Guantanamo as well. What do you think would be an appropriate sentence for him? And is that something you might want to come back for?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Now I think that’s a different case, but no, I don’t have any comment on that.”

Question: 

“Can you tell us a little bit about what you do for a living and what sort of business you were there for? And without getting too personal, what sort of injuries you had, whether there are any lingering problems?”

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Interesting question. I worked for GE. I was there teaching a class on controllership to some GE employees that are resident in Jakarta. So that was the group I was with. Those were my business associates, many of whom were injured. Some of them were able to get away without injury, and others were injured more seriously than I.

“I had personally multiple lacerations. My head. My face. Mostly the right side of my body. Because I happened to be…My right side of the body took the blow of the explosion. And I had four severed tendons in my right hand. About 80% of my back was burned, most of it was second degree burns but there was an area that was third degree burn. It was probably the size of a $50 coin – I mean, a 50 cent coin – kind of a round burn that was third degree. Many of my colleagues had many more – a lot more extensive injuries and a lot of third degree burns and had to go through skin grafts. I did not have to do that.

“But as far as lasting injuries – as a result of being in the hospital in Jakarta for – I’m not sure the time line – it was probably 6 or 8 hours. I was airlifted to Singapore General Hospital that evening but I was in Jakarta Hospital for maybe 6 or 8 hours maybe longer. I don’t know. It was somewhat chaotic at the hospital. Not somewhat. It was chaos. They were overwhelmed, I think, by all the injured coming in. And it turns out they were re-using needles and I came away with HIV. So that’s my lasting effect.”

Question: 

[inaudible]

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“I really did not. I just had – I had some advice from my two sons to not wear white, if you’ve seen the movie ‘A Few Good Men’, which I thought was pretty funny. And one wanted to know if we had to take a boat. But no, I didn’t have any…”

Question: 

[inaudible]

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Well, all I’ve seen is the part that’s, you know, a naval base, a military base. You know, I haven’t – I don’t get to the other side.”

Question: 

[inaudible]

Patricia Pond, victim of the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia: 

“Well, regarding my faith in humanity. I don’t think that’s really changed. And I haven’t and I don’t want to present myself as having suffered for the past 9 years because I – yes, the first few weeks, the first few months, and of course when I found out I had HIV that was pretty devastating. But I lead a very normal life – very active, normal life – and I expect to have a full life. So, you know, I haven’t been devastated by this.”

 

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3 Comments on “Transcript: Press conference Q&A with victim of the 2003 Jakarta hotel bombing

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