Bali suspect says JI not to blame

A key suspect in last year's Bali nightclub bombing, Ali Imron, has insisted the attack was not the work of the Jamaah Islamiyah, the alleged regional al-Qaida affiliate.

    Ali Imron has shown remorse over the mass killing

    Once again, Imron admitted his guilt and expressed regret over the blast that hit Indonesia's paradise isle on 12 October, killing more than 200 people, mostly foreign holidaymakers as well as Balinese tourism workers.

    "I am guilty and I can only seek forgiveness from my family, my friends, the family of victims and the victims," Imron told the Denpasar state district court in his defence plea.

    He said all he could do now was "to ask for the acceptance of the victims, the family of the victims and society, of the prosecutor's recommendation."

    Not a Muslim act

    But Imron, 33, who is the only one of the bombing suspects to have publicly expressed remorse over the attack, said he needed to make clear the bombings were not the work of the Jamaah Islamiyah.

    "The Bali bombing actions do not represent the Jamaah Islamiyah but to my knowledge, it is true that most (of the bombers) have been members of the Jamaah Islamiyah," he said.

    "The Bali bombings also do not represent Muslims (in general) but we, the perpetrators, just happen to be Muslims," he said.

    Imron's brother Amrozi has been sentenced to death for his role

    Police accuse the Jamaah Islamiyah of staging the bombing of two Bali bars crowded with Western tourists to avenge injustices to Muslims worldwide. The group is thought to be linked to al-Qaida.

    Sentence

    Prosecutors have asked for a 20-year jail sentence for Imron who has admitted helping assemble a van bomb that tore apart a nightclub and caused most of the deaths.

    He has also admitted planting another bomb outside the US consulate, which exploded harmlessly; giving instructions to two suicide bombers; and driving the van close to the club.

    Imron is one of 30 suspects facing trials over the bombings.

    Judges have already issued two death sentences, including one on Imron's older brother Amrozi.

    Prosecutors have also sought the death sentence for another older brother of the defendant, Ali Ghufron alias Mukhlas.

    The trial resumes on Wednesday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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