DENPASAR: An Indonesian court ruled yesterday that the trial of alleged Bali bombing mastermind Imam Samudra must continue and rejected defence arguments that an anti-terror law breaches the constitution.
“All the objections by defence counsel can be declared unacceptable? the court decides to continue with the trial,” Judge Wayan Subawa announced.
Samudra, an Indonesian who learned his combat skills in Afghanistan, was believed to be a leading member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) regional terror group.
Police said JI staged the attack on “soft” Western-frequented targets in the resort island to avenge perceived injustices to Muslims worldwide. Some 202 people from 21 countries were killed in the blasts.
Samudra, 33, was second of over 30 suspects to face trial over the attack last October. Bombing suspect Amrozi was the first to go to court.
Both face the death penalty if convicted under a tough anti-terror decree issued a week after the bombings and made retroactive to cover the blasts. The decree was later formalised into a law.
Prosecutors said Samudra planned the Bali attacks, picked the targets and ordered the bombers to go ahead.
He was also accused of a church bombing in Batam island in 2000 that injured three people. It was part of a bombing spree targeting churches and priests on Christmas Eve that year.
The trial was adjourned until Thursday to begin hearing witness testimony. – AFP
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