Death for Amrozi sought


DENPASAR: Indonesian prosecutors yesterday demanded the death sentence for Bali bomb suspect Amrozi, saying he helped plan and carry out the attack on two crowded nightspots which killed 202 people. 

The call came as police in Jakarta announced the arrest of Idris, another top suspect in last October's attack which is blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terror group. 

Idris was planning other bombings when he was arrested, national detective chief Erwin Mappaseng told reporters, without giving details. 

The arrest leaves just four top suspects still on the run. 

Indonesian police have won international praise for leading the multinational investigation, which has now netted more than 30 people. Amrozi was the first to be arrested. 

“The defendant has been convincingly and legally proven to have planned the criminal action of terrorism, which caused fear, led to massive chaos and robbed people of their freedom ... We ask that the panel of judges impose the death sentence,” prosecutor Urip Tri Gunawan told a court in the resort island. 

Amrozi appeared calm as the court adjourned for two weeks but the father of one Australian victim could not contain his fury. 

“Amrozi, you are dead,” Spike Steward shouted. 

The five judges have not yet passed a verdict and do not have to follow the sentence recommendation. The defence and Amrozi himself will respond on July 14. 

But Amrozi has already admitted his role, telling judges earlier this month that foreign tourists threaten Indonesia's future and that violence is the only language they understand. 

Police say JI carried out the Bali attacks on Western holidaymakers in revenge for perceived injustices to Muslims worldwide. 

Gunawan said the actions of Amrozi and his group “cannot be separated from an international network, at least in South-East Asia”. 

The prosecutor said the decision by Amrozi and other witnesses to withdraw statements was merely a trick to protect others still at large. 

“This should be understood as a show of their militancy: they want to cover up or hide other perpetrators who have not been arrested yet so that their actions can continue,” Gunawan said. 

Amrozi is said to have bought one tonne of chemicals used to build the biggest and deadliest bomb, and to have purchased the van used to carry it. 

The huge blast ripped into the Sari Club, causing most of the deaths. Another blast seconds earlier devastated Paddy's Bar. 

It was the worst terror attack since the Sept 11 attack on the United States. 

Two other top suspects – alleged field commander Imam Samudra and JI's alleged operations chief Mukhlas – are also on trial in Bali. 

Police have described Idris (alias Jhoni Hendrawan alias Gembrot) as Samudra's deputy. Idris, 35, has confessed his involvement, the detective chief Mappaseng said. 

Idris was arrested at the same time as 10 JI suspects were detained at Pekanbaru on Sumatra island between June 12 and 15. 

Eight of the 10 are accused of a bank robbery in the city in which three people were shot dead and 113 million rupiah (RM52,000) was stolen to raise funds for JI. 

Mappaseng said Idris had been counting the cash when he was arrested.  

The four top suspects still being hunted are Hambali, Nurdin Moch Top, a Malaysian called Dr Azahari and Zulkifli Marzuki. – AFP 

  • Another perspective from The Jakarta Post, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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