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Last Updated: Monday, 23 June, 2003, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Bali bombing suspect 'tortured'
Mukhlas said he was subjected to 'inhuman physical torture'
The man accused of masterminding the Bali bombings has alleged that police interrogators tortured him into confessing a role in the attacks.

In his first opportunity to defend himself in court, 43-year-old preacher Ali Ghufron, known as Mukhlas, said the statements he had previously made were incorrect because he had been subjected to "mental pressure, including brutal and inhuman physical torture".

Mukhlas is one of several suspects currently on trial charged with involvement in the attacks in the Indonesian tourist resort last October, which killed 202 people.

His younger brother, Amrozi, who is another suspect in the Bali bombings, has also claimed that Mukhlas was tortured by police.

The police have yet to comment on the latest allegations.

'Stripped naked'

Mukhlas told Monday's court session that officers beat him 20 times and threatened to send a photograph of his bruised genitals to his wife unless he confessed.

Trial began on 12 May
Accused of providing the van and bombs used in the attacks.
Imam Samudra
Trial began on 2 June
Accused of planning the attacks.
Mukhlas (Ali Gufron)
Trial began on 16 June
Accused of being the 'mastermind' behind the attacks
Also said to be operations chief of regional militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI).
Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
On trial for series of church bombings in 2000.
Often linked to Bali bombings as he is accused of being JI's spiritual leader
"I was stripped naked, without any single piece of clothing. For me as a Muslim... by God, being shot in the head several times is better than having my dignity and parts of my body that should not be seen sullied," he said.

"I initially refused to sign the confession presented by the police. But later, I agreed because I could no longer stand all the torture."

Mukhlas urged the court to ignore a written confession he made last week, saying that he planned the bombings.

He also asked them to ignore his earlier statement saying that radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir had ordered the attacks.

Mr Ba'asyir - currently on trial for a separate string of bomb attacks in 2000 - has been accused of heading Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a terrorist group blamed for the Bali attacks.

The trial of another Bali suspect, Imam Samudra, also continued on Monday.

But the hearing was interrupted when two Australian survivors of the bombings lashed out at Mr Samudra, calling him a "f****** dog who was going to f****** die".

Footballer Jake Ryan and his brother Mitchell came within three metres of the accused man, in the first direct confrontation between a suspect and a victim.


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