Tue, 16 Sep 2003

Two terrorist accomplices sentenced in Bali

Wahyoe Boediwardhana, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali

The district court in Bali has jailed two defendants for their roles in aiding and abetting those involved in the Oct. 12, 2002, Bali bombings.

Andri Octavia got 16 years in jail for his involvement in a jewelry shop robbery in Serang, Banten, on Aug. 22, 2002, the proceeds from which were used to help finance the bombings, while Makmuri received seven years for harboring a key Bali bomb suspect in the Central Java town of Klaten after the deadly attacks.

"The defendant (Octavia) has been found guilty of collaborating with others to provide funds for a terrorist attack and of robbing a jewelry shop, for which he is sentenced to 16 years imprisonment," Judge Gede Damendra said during Monday's court session here.

Oktavia's lawyers immediately filed an appeal against the sentence, which was two years lighter than that demanded by the prosecution.

The court has already sentenced two persons to 15 years' imprisonment each and one person to 16 years' imprisonment for their involvement in the robbery.

The raiders got away with 2.5 kilograms of gold jewelry and Rp 5 million (US$588) in cash. The proceeds were passed to Imam Samudra, who along with Amrozi was sentenced to death last week for masterminding the terror attacks.

In a separate trial in the same building, Judge Ida Bagus Jagra said Makmuri was guilty of harboring Ali Ghufron alias Mukhlas, Amrozi and Ali Imron in Klaten after the attack.

Prosecutors are seeking 20 years in jail for Ali Imron, who has confessed his role in the bombings, which killed 202 people, mostly Australians, and injured more than 320 others.

During his trial on Monday, Ali Imron urged those involved in the Bali bombings who were still at large not to launch any further terror attacks that would tarnish the image of Islam worldwide.

"I call on my friends who are still at large to stop their violent actions immediately because what they have done in the past are terror acts," Imron, who was dressed in a dark suit and blue shirt, told the court in his defense plea.

He denied that the terrorist network Jamaah Islamiyah was behind the terror attacks, saying the series of bombings had nothing to do with Islam or the adherents of Islam.

He also said he had misunderstood the meaning of jihad.

"A true jihad should have a clear target. There should be warnings given. No women should be killed in jihad. And, the holy war should be staged in acceptable ways. All these principles were ignored in our jihad," he admitted.

He said the bombings were really retaliatory actions aimed at the United States, which he claimed had mistreated the Muslim people.

Imron, who has admitted helping assemble the van bomb that tore apart a nightclub and caused most of the deaths, also apologized for his role in attacking the wrong targets.

"I am guilty and I can only seek forgiveness from my family, my friends, the families of the victims and the victims themselves," he told the court.

He said all he could do now was "to ask for the acceptance of the prosecution's recommendation by the victims, the families of the victims and society."

According to Imron, the 20-year sentence sought by the prosecution was the most lenient that could be expected for a crime that had caused "such extraordinary losses."

Imron's lawyer Suyono urged the judges to consider his client's honest regret in mitigation.