Tue, 10 Jun 2003

Forensic expert links Amrozi to Bali bombing

Wahyoe Boediwardhana, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali

A forensic expert presented more incriminating evidence on Monday against key Bali bombing suspect Amrozi, saying the residues of the explosives extracted from the bomb sites matched the ones found in the defendant's home in Tenggulun village in East Java.

Comr. Rudi Aris Tavip Puspito, a specialist with the Bali Police's forensic laboratory in Denpasar, said that the police found residues of TNT (Trinitrotoluene), RDX (Research Development Explosive-- Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine) and Chlorate on the chassis of the remains of the Mitsubishi L300 minivan used to transport the bombs, on the wall of the destroyed Sari Club and on the surface of the road in front of the nightclub.

"The police team managed to extract residues of organic explosives, TNT and RDX, while the Australian Federal Police (AFP) forensic team found the residue of a non-organic explosive, Chlorate," Tavip told the court.

The forensic team later found similar residues at the defendant's home and several other undisclosed places in Tenggulun, East Java.

The team also found the residues of these explosives at four separate places in Denpasar, namely rented rooms on Jl. Gatot Subroto, Jl. Marlboro, Jl. Pulau Pinang and Jl. Pulau Menjangan, where the defendant and his fellow suspects stayed prior to the bombings.

Furthermore, the team found residues of TNT at the bomb site at Paddy's Pub and residues of PTEN (Pentaerythritoltetranitrate), Nitril, Nitrate and RDX on the red Yamaha F1-ZR allegedly used by Ali Imron, another suspect in the case, to deliver a small package of explosives to a place near the U.S. consular office in the Renon area.

Responding to Tavip's testimony, Amrozi said that he could not understand most of the witness's account.

"Maybe because I used to fall asleep during my chemistry classes back in school," he joked.

Previously, Tavip said that he and several other forensic experts arrived at the bomb site some 15 minutes after the explosion. The 70 centimeter deep and four meter wide crater created by the explosion led the team to assume that a vehicle bomb had been used in the attack, which killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

With the help of experts from various auto manufacturers, the forensic team was able to identify the vehicle as a Mitsubishi L300 minivan. Further forensic efforts failed to reveal the identification number on the car's chassis, but did produce its commercial vehicle registration number.

The registration number, DPR 15463, helped the police trace the owner and eventually led to the arrest of Amrozi, the first major breakthrough in the investigation.

Earlier in the morning, the presiding judges in Imam Samudra's trial rejected a defense motion to throw out the case based on technicalities, particularly over the retroactive nature of the antiterrorism law used to charge him.

In their ruling, the panel of judges presided over by I Nyoman Sugawa said the trial could proceed and move on to the calling of witnesses.

In the separate trial of Abdul Rauf, Junaedi, Andi Hidayat and Andri Octavia, prosecutors insisted that the Denpasar District Court had jurisdiction to try the defendants for the robbery of the Elita jewelry store in Serang, Banten, months before the blasts.

The judges will present their ruling on whether to proceed with the this trial next Thursday.