Tue, 26 Aug 2003

Ba'asyir sentence demand stands

JAKARTA: Prosecutors reiterated their demand on Monday that the Central Jakarta District Court sentence Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir to 15 years in jail.

Chief prosecutor Hasan Madani told the court evidence was solid to prove the defendant's guilt in subversion and violating immigration law, such that he deserved to remain in jail for 15 years.

Ba'asyir, who chairs the hard-line Muslim group Mujahidin Indonesia Council (MMI), had denied accusations of plotting to assassinate then vice president Megawati Soekarnoputri in 1999, which the prosecutors said was aimed at toppling the legitimate government. He is also charged with immigration violation while in exile in Malaysia.

Presiding judge Mohammad Sholeh adjourned the trial until Wednesday. The judges are expected to announce the verdict next month. -- JP