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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 07:39 GMT
Jail demand for Indonesia cleric
Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
Ba'asyir says he is being tried because of pressure from the West
A radical Indonesian cleric accused of inciting the Bali bombings and other attacks should be jailed for eight years, prosecutors have urged a court.

The prosecution team could have demanded that Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir be executed if found guilty.

Ba'asyir denies leading the Jemaah Islamiah group, which is thought to be linked to al-Qaeda.

He also denies any involvement in bomb attacks on Bali nightclubs in 2002 and the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003.

The Bali attacks killed 202 people, while 12 died - including a suicide bomber - when the Marriot was attacked.

CHARGES AGAINST BA'ASYIR
Under anti-terror law:
  • Conspiring, planning and inciting acts of terrorism (e.g. Marriott attacks)
  • Using position to influence/persuade others
  • Withholding information
  • Under criminal code:
  • Accessory to Bali attacks

  • "The defendant is proven guilty of carrying out terror acts as stipulated in the law... and proven guilty of causing the fires [in Bali] which caused the deaths," prosecutor Salman Maryadi told the Jakarta court on Tuesday.

    Although he may not have been at the scene of the bombings, the 66-year old cleric was aware of the plans and did nothing to stop them being carried out, the prosecution alleged.

    Ba'asyir did not react to the accusations, but his supporters cried out: "The prosecutors are cruel".

    The defence has still to present its case in the trial, which began in October.

    Under Indonesian law, judges can ignore a prosecutors' demand when it comes to sentencing.

    'Spiritual leader'

    Ba'asyir says he has been brought to trial because of Western pressure on the Indonesian government.

    He has been tried before, but was acquitted because of a lack of evidence proving he was the leader of Jemaah Islamiah.

    He was, however, jailed for 18 months for immigration violations.

    The prosecution's case rests on the assertion that Ba'asyir is or was the spiritual leader of those who carried out militant attacks such as that at Bali.

    Scores of people - mainly Western tourists, but also a large number of Indonesians - were killed in Kuta, Bali, on the early morning of 12 October 2002, in blasts targeting popular nightclubs.

    In relation to the Bali attack the cleric cannot be charged retroactively under Indonesian anti-terrorism laws, so is being tried under the country's criminal code.




    SEE ALSO:
    Indonesia cleric denies Bali link
    01 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
    Abu Bakar Ba'asyir's legal saga
    21 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
    Profile: Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
    27 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
    Jemaah Islamiah still a threat
    13 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
    The Bali bombing plot
    02 Oct 03 |  Asia-Pacific


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