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Prosecutors seek death for key Bali bomb suspect DENPASAR - Indonesian prosecutors on Monday urged a court to impose the death penalty on a young Muslim militant for playing a lead role in the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mainly foreigners partying in nightclubs. The sentencing demand for Imam Samudra is the second sought for more than 30 Indonesian Muslim militants arrested for the October 12 attacks.
Samudra, who has told his lawyers he would embrace execution, has admitted to being involved in the nightclub attacks on the tourist island's famed Kuta beach strip and said he wanted to wage war on the United States. But he has denied being the operation's ground commander. "The defendant should receive the harshest penalty, death. We demand the defendant Abdul Aziz alias Imam Samudra...get the death penalty," state prosecutor I Nyoman Dila told the court.
"The actions of the defendant were an extraordinary crime." The 33-year-old computer expert has been charged with plotting, organizing and carrying out crimes of terror. As police escorted Samudra from the dais, an Australian man in the front row of the spectators' gallery held up his national flag and shouted to Samudra: "Say you're sorry. Are you sorry?" Samudra shouted Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest) three times. He earlier punched the air with his fist.
Later speaking to reporters, Jan Laczynski, said: "It was my way of just saying, 'hey look, say sorry, give us some sense of your being sorry' for what you've done...But, just to hear him say 'we're all terrorists', it shows that nothing has changed in his way of thinking." Survivors have found the trials a wrenching experience.
"Sick. I feel sick," said Lee-Anne Boston from Western Australia who lost her husband in the bombing, is now partially deaf and still recovering from burns. "I am churning," she said of her sensation at seeing a trial session for the first time. The trial was adjourned until August 11 and Samudra told the court he would prepare his own final defense statement.
He is one of four key suspects on trial over the bombings. Prosecutors have also demanded the death penalty for Amrozi, the first suspect to go on trial. That verdict is due to be handed down on August 7. Political analysts have said the tough demands showed the world's most populous Muslim nation wanted harsh verdicts as it seeks to show it is serious about tackling Islamic militancy. Indonesia has blamed the bombings on Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian Muslim network linked to al Qaeda and which has been accused of carrying out a terror campaign in the region.
This month, Samudra told the court that the slaughter of "infidels from oppressing nations and their allies" was justifiable according to Islamic teachings. Prosecutors have said the bombers were driven by a desire for revenge against the United States and its allies. Samudra has previously said the nightspot that bore the brunt of a massive car bomb, the Sari Club, was full of "white people and the allies of America." Nearly 90 Australians were killed.
If found guilty, the one-time chicken butcher and perfume seller faces death by firing squad. An engineering graduate, Samudra sports a wispy beard, wears conservative Muslim clothes and shouts Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) at each court session. Like other Bali accused, Amrozi and Samudra were students of elderly Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged leader of Jemaah Islamiah who is currently on trial for treason. Police have linked Bashir to the Bali attacks but have not named him as a suspect.



Posted in Terrorism @ 28 July 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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