Jakarta bomber gets 12 years

An Indonesian man who handled explosives used in last year's deadly bombing of a Jakarta hotel was jailed for 12 years on Thursday.

    Judges declared Ismail guilty of engaging in 'crime of terrorism'

    Ismail, alias Muhammad Ikhwan, was found guilty of terrorism and

    illegal possession of explosives used in the August 2003

    bombing of the Marriott hotel in which 12 people were killed.

    Judge I Wayan Rena Wardana told the South Jakarta district court on Thursday that

    the defendant was "legally and convincingly proven to have engaged

    in a crime of terrorism", and had taken part in a crime causing

    "widespread terror".

    Previously the highest sentence handed down in connection with

    the Marriott attack had been 10 years.

    The bombing has been blamed on the Jemaah

    Islamiya group, which is also held reponsible for the October 2002

    Bali nightclub blasts in which 202 died

    .

    The group denies responsibility.

    Prime suspects 

    Ismail, 24, demanded time to consider an appeal but said he was

    unfazed by the sentence.

    "What is clear is that this verdict is only made by humans, and

    I do not fear a verdict issued by humans," he said when asked by

    judges for a response.

    "What is clear is that
    this verdict is only made by humans, and

    I do not fear a verdict issued
    by humans"

    Ismail, alias Muhammad Ikhwan

    Prosecutors said Ismail, who has previously expressed regret for

    the attack, had taken part in preparing and carrying out the bombing

    under orders from two Malaysian bomb experts - Azahari Husin and

    Nurdin Mohammed Top.

    Both Nurdin and Azahari have been named as prime suspects in

    the 9 September embassy attack and are the subject of a huge police

    manhunt

    .

    Meanwhile, Indonesian police have said they

    have arrested two people suspected of involvement in last week's

    deadly bomb attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta.

    Police confirmed the couple, arrested late on Wednesday near the

    port city of Surabaya on central Java island, were being held on

    "suspicion" of being linked to the 9 September bombing in which nine

    died and 180 were hurt.

    Evidence recovered

    Provincial police spokesman Endro Wardoyo said the two were

    seized in a raid on a house in the town of Sidoarjo during what

    appeared to be an initiation procedure. Three others managed to

    escape.

    He said the two arrested were Indonesian citizens, but did not

    release their names. However, local media identified them as Rahmat Allah and

    Farida.

    The Marriot hotel bombing killed
    12 people in Jakarta last year


    Wardoyo said during the raid the suspects had attempted to

    dispose of some documents in a well but police managed to recover

    the evidence, which was only slightly damaged.

    The pair were "part of a group of radicals in East Java that

    we've been after for some time", said national police spokesman

    Sunarko Danu Ardanto.

    But he declined to say whether they were members of the Jemaah

    Islamiya group.

    SOURCE: AFP


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