Last detained 'Bali bomber' on trial

An Islamist armed fighter accused of involvement in bombing Bali nightclubs and Jakarta's Marriott hotel has gone on trial in the Indonesian capital.

    The nightclub attack in 2002 claimed more than 200 lives

    Jhoni Hendrawan, alias Idris, is the last detained Bali bomb suspect to stand trial. He is charged with planning the Bali bombings by attending several meetings with other suspects between August and September 2002. 

    He also detonated a bomb that did not cause casualties near the US consulate in the resort island on 12 October 2002, prosecutor Tubagus Arief said on Monday. 

    The bomb exploded almost simultaneously with two other devices which killed 202 people, mostly young foreign holidaymakers, in the Kuta nightclub strip. 

    Hendrawan, 30, also allegedly took part in a survey to pick targets for the bombs. 

    Al-Qaida link

    Al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is blamed for the Bali bombings and the attack on the Marriott hotel last August which killed 12 people. The attacks were staged to avenge perceived Western oppression of Muslims. 

    "What is clear we carried out some of those (bombings). Those were intended to remind them not to treat Muslims tyrannically" 

    Jhoni Hendrawan,
    Bali suspect

    Hendrawan, in comments to AFP before the trial began, admitted on Tuesday he was involved in some bombings. 

    "What is clear we carried out some of those (bombings)," he
    said. "Those were intended to remind them not to treat Muslims tyrannically." 

    But he said alleged JI chief Abu Bakr Bashir was not involved in the Bali bombings. "I can only pray that he be granted salvation by Allah," he said.

    Prosecutors also charged Hendrawan with transporting 130kg of explosives which were later used in the Marriott blast. 

    Death sentence

    He could face a death sentence if convicted of the Bali bombings and 20 years if found guilty of involvement in the Marriott attack. 

    Hendrawan's trial had been transferred from Bali to Jakarta
    because of his alleged involvement in the Marriott blast. 

    Courts in Bali have sentenced 33 people for the bombings there. Three people were sentenced to death by firing squad, four others were given life sentences and the remainder received jail terms ranging from 16 to three years. 

    Several key Bali suspects are still being hunted, including
    Malaysian explosives experts Nur al-Din Muhammad Top and Azahari Husin who are also accused of involvement in the Marriott blast.

    SOURCE: AFP


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