Two Indonesian militants face life sentences

March 27th, 2008 - 12:51 am ICT by admin  

Jakarta, March 26 (DPA) Indonesian prosecutors demanded Wednesday life in prison for two senior leaders of an Al Qaeda-linked South-East Asian terror network accused of multiple terrorism charges, including illegally possessing and distributing weapons and explosive materials for terrorist acts. In the first court session, chief prosecutor Payaman told the South Jakarta district court that Abu Dujana, 38, the self-proclaimed military commander of Jemaah Islamiyah, has been proven “legally and convincingly guilty” of having committed terrorist acts.

“We urged the court to hand down a life jail sentence to the defendant,” said Payaman.

At another court hearing hours later, chief prosecutor Bayu Nugroho also urged the court to hand down jail for life to Zarkasih, the alleged “emir” of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), who was on trial on similar charges.

Zarkasih is also accused of holding several meetings discussing the progress and the strategy of their struggle in Poso in Central Sulawesi province, which was hit by sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians seven years ago that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people.

Both Dujana and Zarkasih are charged under anti-terrorism laws that were enacted only weeks after the October 2002 bombings of two nightspots on the Indonesian resort island of Bali that left at least 202 people dead, mostly foreign visitors.

The two arrests followed the discovery of bunkers containing hundreds of kilograms of explosives and weapons beneath houses in Central Java. Police said the haul could have created a blast more powerful than the 2002 Bali bombs.

Dujana reportedly confessed that he underwent training in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1989 and became an instructor in the southern Philippines in the 1990s. He led JI’s military wing, Sariyah, from 2004 until his arrest, police claim.

Jemaah Islamiyah is also accused of carrying out a 2003 attack on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, a 2004 attack on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and 2005 triple suicide bombing on restaurants in Bali.

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