Tue, 04 Feb 2003

Ba'asyir detention extended

JAKARTA: The Jakarta High Court upheld on Monday the South Jakarta District Court's decision to extend the detention of Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir for another 30 days.

One of Ba'asyir's lawyers, Munarman, said the High Court's decision was incorrect because the request for the extension came from police investigators, but the case was already in the hands of the prosecutors.

"Article 29 of the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP) allows us to file a complaint with the High Court over an extended period of detention. We believe the detention is not necessary," he told The Jakarta Post after receiving a copy of the decision.

Ba'asyir is a suspect in a string of bombings in 2000 and a plot to assassinate then vice president Megawati Soekarnoputri in 1999. In addition, he is charged with violating the immigration law and Emergency Law No. 12/1951 on the possession of explosives.

If found guilty of these charges he could receive the death penalty.

In compliance with the Criminal Law Procedures Code, the detention period from the police investigators had expired on Dec. 30. However, a district court can issue two 30-day extensions for suspects whose charges carry a penalty of at least 15 years in prison.

Ba'asyir, 64, is now being held at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta. On Monday, he was brought to the police clinic to have seven teeth pulled. -- JP