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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July 2005, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Man jailed over Jakarta bombing
Irun Hidayat looks out from his detention house before his trial in Jakarta, 21 July 2005.
Irun Hidayat says he will appeal the verdict
The first suspect to face charges over the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta last year has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail.

Irun Hidayat was found guilty of being an accessory to the attack, which killed 11 people, including a suicide bomber.

But Hidayat had already been cleared of the most serious charge - helping plan the September 2004 attack.

If found guilty of that charge, he could have faced a death sentence.

The Islamic preacher said he rejected the verdict, and would appeal the decision.

Chief Judge Yohannes Binti said Hidayat was "legally and convincingly" guilty of being an accessory to the embassy bombings, according to the French news agency AFP.

Prosecutors had recommended a five-year prison term, but judges decided to sentence him to three and a half years.

A casualty is taken away on a stretcher after the blast in Jakarta - September 2004
Nine people, including the suicide bomber, were killed in the blast
Hidayat's supporters shouted "God is Great" when the five-judge panel read out its verdict.

According to AFP, Mr Binti said Hidayat had provided a house for the two key operatives thought to be behind the embassy attack, Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammed Top, after the attack.

He is also said to have given money to one of the attack's perpetrators.

Hidayat, 33, told reporters after the hearing: "I believe I am innocent, and I still believe that I have been falsely arrested by police."

Earlier he reportedly said that "with global politics the way they are now, it is difficult for people like me who have been dubbed as terrorists" to get a fair trial.

More than 20 people have so far been detained in connection with the Australian Embassy bombing.

Inter-faith dialogue

The blast has been blamed on regional militant group Jemaah Islamiah, which is also accused of masterminding several other attacks in Indonesia, including the 2002 bombings in Bali and an attack at the J W Marriott hotel in Jakarta in 2003.

On Thursday, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said rising acts of terrorism highlighted the need for a more assertive role by religious leaders and scholars to promote tolerance of other faiths.

Addressing an international inter-faith dialogue in Bali, attended by nearly 200 participants from 27 countries, he urged religious moderation rather than a dogmatic approach that he said could lead to "hatred and ignorance".

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16 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
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Indonesia's bomb-makers at large
24 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Embassy attack
09 Sep 04 |  In Pictures
Jemaah Islamiah still a threat
15 Aug 03 |  Asia-Pacific

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