Many await verdict for Bali bombings

Indonesian police, with crucial Australian help, have so far arrested 34 suspects in connection with the Bali bombings of last year.

    Mukhlas is the key suspect

    Of these, 27 are already on trial in the resort island.

      

    A village mechanic named Amrozi, 41, was the first to be arrested, on November 5, and will be the first to hear a verdict in his trial later on Thursday. He could face death by firing squad if convicted.

     

    Top suspect

      

    Other key suspects on trial -- Amrozi's brothers Mukhlas and Ali Imron, and Imam Samudra -- may also face execution.

      

    Mukhlas, 43, whose real name is Ali Ghufron, is the highest-level suspect to be charged. He is accused of authorising the attack. Police say he is a regional leader and operations chief of the Jemaah Islamiyah Islamic network.

      

    Imam Samudra, 33, whose real name is Abdul Azis, is accused of being field commander of the attack. Prosecutors say he picked the targets -- two crowded nightclubs -- and gave the order to go ahead with the blasts.

     

    Overseas tourist arrivals in Bali in the first five months of this year were down 42 percent  compared to the same period in 2002, an immediate effect of the bombings.

    Ali Imron, 33, is the only suspect publicly to express remorse. He is accused of helping to plan the attack and to build the car bomb which exploded outside the Sari Club.

      

    The Sari Club blast and a near-simultaneous suicide bombing at Paddy's Bar flattened 424 buildings in the Kuta tourist belt and were so powerful they were recorded by a seismograph 10 km away.

     

    Of the 202 killed, 199 were from 21 countries. Investigators were not able to identify three bodies. 

      

    Overseas tourist arrivals in Bali in the first five months of this year were down 42 percent compared to the same period in 2002, an immediate effect of the bombings.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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