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Trail begins for 2002 Bali bomb suspect Umar Patek JAKARTA - The main suspect behind the deadly bombing which hit the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2002 faced the start of his first trial on Monday, local media reported.

Umar Patek, 44, who is also known as Abdul Goni and Abu Syiekh, was one of the most wanted terrorists in the Southeast Asian country for the first Bali bombing in 2002 that killed 202 people, including 88 Australian nationals and other foreign citizens. On Monday, he showed up at the West Jakarta District Court for his first trial.

On January 25, 2011, Patek, whose role in the attack was first signaled out by other fellow terrorists who had been previously arrested, was detained in Abbottabad, Pakistan almost 10 years after the attack and only a few weeks before U.S. security forces killed former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the same area.

Pakistani authorities later extradited Patek back to Indonesia in August 2011. He arrived at court wearing a white taqiyah - a traditional Muslim cap - as well as a white tunic. After descending from an armed vehicle and entering the heavily guarded court building, he smiled at cameras until being seated in front of the five judge panel.

The panel, which is led by Lexsy Mamonto, is made up of five judges, two more than the usual three. In addition, over 250 security officers were deployed to safeguard the court building as the trial has been brought to the attention of both national and international media.

Patek, who had been placed under the United States' Rewards for Justice program with a $1 million reward for his capture, is facing a number of charges, which could lead to a sentence of life imprisonment. Among those charges are premeditated murder, bomb-making, and possession of firearms.

The suspect's defense lawyers requested a week to respond to the charges, arguing that they are disproportionate from the truth. In addition, Patek has been linked to a series of bombings in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, which led to the deaths of at least 18 people.

Patek is believed to be a member of a group which carried out military and fighting exercises in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and 1990s. He later formed Jemaah Islamiyah and then organized a series of suicide bombings targeting nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, offices and embassies of Western countries in Indonesia.

Previously, Imam Samudra, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron, were convicted of being involved in the Bali bombings and later executed in 2008.

After the Bali bombing, Patek was believed to have fled to the Philippines but was later arrested in Pakistan. Despite his eventual capture, Patek's arrest in Pakistan has raised questions about Indonesia's security and how the top terrorist fugitive could have fled the country in the first place.


Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism') Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism'):
16 November 2011 · Indonesia police put on alert against terror attacks
15 November 2011 · Terrorist cell planned to attack police station
09 November 2011 · Police checking alleged Indonesian Al Qaeda member
27 October 2011 · Radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir gets sentence reduced
23 October 2011 · Umar Patek returns to Bali for Bali Bomb reenactment
18 October 2011 · Three suspected terrorists arrested

Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism') Tags: Umar Patek, Bali, terrorist, Bali Bomb, 2002, trial


Posted in Terrorism @ 14 February 2012 11:05 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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