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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Second jail term for Indonesian 'terrorist'
Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi
Al-Ghozi (centre) is alleged to have links with al-Qaeda
An alleged bomb-maker for an Asian Islamic militant group which is said to have links with al-Qaeda has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining passports as part of a suspected terrorist plot.


Prosecution of offenders of these types of crimes is very important in the war against terrorism, since this is how they are able to travel from country to country

Philippine Justice Undersecretary Manuel Teehankee
Indonesian Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, who was jailed on Thursday for a minimum of 10 years for illegal possession of explosives, received another prison term on Friday for the passport offences, being sentenced to between four and six years and fined 120,000 pesos ($2,400).

An official of the assistant Philippine state prosecutor's office said Al-Ghozi would serve the two terms concurrently.

Al-Ghozi, 30, admitted he acquired two passports in Zamboanga in the southern Philippines in January and May last year by claiming he was Filipino-born.

Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi being questioned by prosecutors
Al-Ghozi may yet face murder charges

"The use of false passports is a very serious crime, and prosecution of offenders of these types of crimes is very important in the war against terrorism, since this is how they are able to travel from country to country," said Philippine Justice Undersecretary Manuel Teehankee.

Al-Ghozi is suspected of making explosives for the militant group Jemaah Islamiah, which analysts say wants to establish an Islamic state to include parts of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

US and regional officials allege the group also has links with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda.

Prosecutors charged that the passports were meant for a series of bombings in Singapore.

His earlier trial on Thursday was in connection with the discovery by Philippines police of a ton of TNT, 300 detonators and 17 M-16 assault rifles.

Officials allege that Jemaah Islamiah planned to attack US military personnel and naval vessels as well as the British high commission, the Israeli embassy and the Australian high commission in Singapore.

He has also admitted to involvement in a string on deadly bombings in Manila in December 2000 that killed 22 people and injured more than 120.

He still faces charges relating to the bombings, which that may include murder charges, prosecutors told the Associated Press news agency.

Releases

Meanwhile, two of three other Indonesians who were arrested in Manila last month for alleged possession of bomb parts and whom the authorities had linked with al-Ghozi, are to be freed.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo ordered the immediate release of Abdul Jamal Balfas and Tamsil Linrung after government prosecutors found a lack of evidence against them, according to presidential spokesman Silvestre Afable.

The third Indonesian, Agus Dwirkana, would continue to be held because investigations into his case were not complete, Mr Afable said.

See also:

18 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
Philippines jails al-Qaeda suspect
18 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
South-East Asia's terror clampdown
18 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysia swoops on Islamic militants
15 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
US commander visits Philippines
17 Apr 02 | Americas
Al-Qaeda man claims 11 September
16 Apr 02 | South Asia
UK troops sweep Afghan valley
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: The Philippines
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