Fri, 19 Dec 2003

Court again delays trial of JI member

PALU, Central Sulawesi: The Palu District Court again delayed the trial on Thursday of Fauzan, a suspected member of Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), after key witness Mustafa failed to appear there for health reasons.

Mustafa is believed to be the commander of JI's Chos militia group whose members are reportedly ready to launch suicide attacks.

Prosecutor Firdaus Yahya said the key witness could not testify at the trial as he was sick.

Firdaus brushed aside allegations that law enforcers were not handling the issue of terrorism seriously.

"I promise to present the witness in next week's trial," he said.

Mustafa's testimony was necessary to uncover arms smuggling activities that allegedly involved JI members. The weapons were believed to be have been purchased from neighboring country, the Philippines.

Last week, the court also delayed the trial of Fauzan for the same reason. --JP