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Last Updated: Friday, 24 September, 2004, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Indonesian cleric to be charged
Abu Bakar Ba'asyir is being escorted from prison after being re-arrested in April
Ba'asyir denies all links with terror or militant group JI
Indonesian prosecutors are to file charges next week against detained cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the attorney-general's office has said.

Ba'asyir faces charges of leading the Jemaah Islamiah militant network and involvement in the bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta last year.

Ba'asyir has also been linked by police to the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings.

But a spokesman for the attorney general said he would not be charged in connection with that attack.

Spokesman for the attorney general's office, Kemas Yahya Rahman, told Reuters news agency that as well as being charged in connection with the Marriott Hotel attack, Ba'asyir would also be charged with possessing illegal explosives found during in a raid on a house in central Java last year.

ABU BAKAR BA'ASYIR
Taught at Islamic school
Arrested a week after the Oct 2002 Bali bombings
Sept 2003 - found guilty of sedition and immigration offences
But acquitted of being spiritual leader of JI
Dec 2003 - Sedition charge quashed on appeal
April 2004 - Rearrested and faces terrorism charges
July 2004 - Charges relating to Bali attack dropped in light of court ruling
August 2004 - Police hand file on Ba'asyir to prosecutors

"We are sure that we have strong evidence and witnesses to charge him with terrorism," Mr Kemas said. "He could get the death penalty if found guilty."

Ba'asyir has consistently denied any links with either JI or terrorism.

He was arrested shortly after the Bali attacks - and therefore was actually in custody during the Marriott bombing - but the only crime he has so far been convicted of is violating immigration laws.

He was acquitted of being the spiritual leader of JI in September 2003.


SEE ALSO:
Profile: Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
29 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Jemaah Islamiah still a threat
13 Sep 04  |  Asia-Pacific


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