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Gufron sentenced to death DENPASAR - Another key defendant in the deadly Bali bombings was sentenced to death on Thursday, bringing the number of Bali bombers sentenced to die to three. The Denpasar District Court passed the verdict on Ali Ghufron, better known as Muklas, after finding him guilty of planning the attack that killed more than 200 people and injured more than 300 others last October 2002.
"The defendant, Ali Ghufron ... has been legally and convincingly proven guilty of having, together with others, planned an act of terrorism and also of being in illegal possession of explosives," said Judge Cokorda Raka Suamba of the Denpasar District Court. "We punish the defendant with the death sentence." Muklas, after consulting his lawyers, said he would appeal the verdict.
Earlier, the same court sentenced Muklas's brother Amrozi and Abdul Azis alias Imam Samudra to death for their roles in the deadly attacks. Amrozi purchased the car used in the terrorist attack, while Imam Samudra was allegedly the field commander of the bombings. Judges deemed that Muklas had no positive behavior that could lighten the verdict.
Instead, he declared himself innocent of his crime that had killed many people, saying that the bomb attack was an act of devotion to God. The judges also said that Muklas had participated in a number of meetings to plan the attack. He had also channeled US$30,500 and 200,000 baht from another suspect, Wan Min Wan Mat, to pay the other Bali bombers. Wan Min is now detained in Malaysia.
Muklas himself had claimed that he met Osama bin Laden, the leader of terrorist network al-Qaeda, when he was in Afghanistan. After the verdict, Muklas shouted three times: "Allahu Akbar!" (God is greatest). He immediately appealed to the High Court as he believed the legal basis of the verdict was not in line with his faith. "Muklas, you will never win," Ashley Stanger, a relative of an Australian victim from Bendigo, shouted.
In a separate court, judges sentenced Hamzah Baya to six years for aiding Ali Imron's escape from East Java to East Kalimantan after the blast. The sentence imposed on Hamzah, who was known as a member of the East Kalimantan Group, is less than the prosecutor's demand of 8.5 years in jail. With the verdicts against Muklas and Hamzah, 17 of more than 30 suspected Bali bombers have been punished so far.
The sentences have ranged from death to life in jail and three years jail. Ali Imron, who was jailed for life after expressing remorse, has appealed for a presidential clemency. Separately, the court in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi, sentenced on Thursday Khaerul, alias Matto, to seven years in jail for hiding Agung Hamid, a key suspect of the Dec. 5 Makassar bombings, Antara said.

Hamid remains on the run.

The prosecutors have said that Khaerul was residing in a small village near Poso in the restive district of the same name in Central Sulawesi when the bombings took place. They have said the defendant helped hide Hamid in his home after the bombings. The report did not say whether Khaerul appealed the sentence, which was three years lighter than what the prosecutors had recommended.
Three people -- including the attacker -- were killed in the bombings that targeted a McDonalds fast food outlet and a car showroom. Some 20 suspects are in custody and at least three people have been jailed for up to seven years for their role in the bombings. Police have said that some suspects in the Makassar bombings knew those behind the Bali blasts. Investigators have blamed the Bali attack on Jemaah Islamiyah, an al Qaeda-linked regional terror network.



Posted in Terrorism @ 03 October 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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