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Govt says will proceed with Bashir case JAKARTA - Indonesia said on Monday it would continue with plans to prosecute Abu Bakar Bashir, suspected spiritual leader of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah network, despite a court ruling curbing anti-terrorism laws. Bashir, 65, is in detention waiting for prosecutors to bring formal charges against him. He was detained on April 30 after spending 18 months in jail for minor immigration offences.
Police re-arrested him under anti-terrorism laws on suspicion he played a role in the Bali 2002 blasts and a string of other attacks and plots in Indonesia, including the J.W. Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta last year. "The process and investigation of Abu Bakar Bashir will be continued, but the process will not use the (anti-terrorism) law in the allegation of involvement as the intellectual actor behind the Bali bombing," Justice Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra told reporters.
"The allegation of his involvement in criminal acts will use the criminal code and also the 1951 law on possessing weapons." Bashir denies any links to Jemaah Islamiah or to terrorist acts. The constitutional court ruled on Friday that anti-terrorism law No 16, 2003, passed after the Bali bombings and used to convict more than 30 of those responsible for that attack, was unconstitutional. The ruling could open the way for fresh appeals by those jailed.
Indonesia has two anti-terror laws. Law No 15 is a broader piece of legislation while law No 16 enabled its application retroactively to the Bali case. The ruling did not annul the Bali verdicts, the constitutional court said in a statement on Monday clarifying last week's decision. But dozens of people convicted for the Bali nightclub blasts that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists, were investigated and charged using the law. Three are on death row.
Some lawyers for those already convicted said they might call for their cases to be reviewed. Any appeal would have to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Nearly 90 Australians died in the blasts and the constitutional court ruling led to expressions of concern from the Australian government. The constitutional court said that law No 15 could still be used to investigate and convict people in crimes committed after it was passed last year.



Posted in Terrorism @ 26 July 2004 00:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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