Thu, 22 May 2003

Samudra to stand trial

DENPASAR, BALI: The alleged mastermind of the devastating terrorist attack in Bali is expected to stand trial next week, the Denpasar District Court said Wednesday.

Abdul Azis, alias Imam Samudra, will become the second suspect after Amrozi to stand trial for the attacks after prosecutors submitted his indictment to the court on Wednesday.

Samudra is charged with masterminding the Oct. 12, 2002 bomb blasts on the resort island. The attack killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

"At the latest his trial will commence in one week," court head I Made Karna said.

Along with the 43-page indictment, prosecutor I Nyoman Dila handed over an Acer laptop, a detonator and a fragment of one of the bombs that exploded in Batam on Christmas Eve in 2000 as evidence.

The indictment said Samudra played a key role in bombings in Bali, Serang, West Java and Batam.

Although Serang and Batam do not fall under Bali's jurisdiction, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has permitted the Bali Prosecutors' Office to include the cases in the Bali bombing indictment.

"Therefore we will bring 15 witnesses from Batam and eight from Serang to testify against Samudra," Bali Prosecutors' Office spokesman Muhammad Salim said.

Samudra faces the death penalty under antiterrorism laws. -- JP