Sentencing delay for Bali bombing suspect

Indonesian prosecutors have postponed their sentencing demand for a leading terror suspect who eluded seize for 18 a long time and is accused of masterminding lethal attacks and sectarian conflict in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Aris Sumarsono, 58, much better recognized as Zulkarnaen, is the former armed forces commander of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian militant group with ties to al-Qaeda which the US has designated a terrorist team.

The team is greatly blamed for assaults including the 2002 bombings on the Indonesian vacation resort island of Bali that killed 202 individuals, mostly international tourists, as perfectly as assaults in the Philippines.

Prosecutors have been scheduled to issue their sentencing desire on Wednesday, but stated they have not completed making ready it.

“We require time to review this situation before we issue our demand from customers,” prosecutor Teguh Suhendro claimed in a listening to at East Jakarta District Court docket held remotely owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The demand was originally scheduled for November 24, but has been postponed a number of occasions. Presiding Judge Alex Adam Faisal requested prosecutors to existing their demand on January 5.

Zulkarnaen had eluded seize given that getting named a suspect in the Oct 2002 suicide bombings at Paddy’s Pub and the Sari Club in Bali.

He was arrested past yr in Lampung, the identical southern city on Sumatra island in which Jemmaah Islamiyah bombmaker Upik Lawanga was arrested a 7 days before.

The two had been tried out separately at the similar courtroom. Lawanga, who was on the police preferred record for 16 years, was sentenced to lifestyle imprisonment on December 8.

Law enforcement have been tipped off to his hideout immediately after interrogating many suspected militants arrested previously.

Due to the fact Might 2005, Zulkarnaen has been shown on an al-Qaeda sanctions record by the UN Security Council for remaining associated with Osama bin Laden or the Taliban.

He became functions chief for Jemaah Islamiyah immediately after the arrest of his predecessor, Encep Nurjaman, also acknowledged as Hambali, in Thailand in 2003.

The United States’ “Benefits for Justice” system experienced made available a bounty of up to $US5 million ($A7 million) for his capture. He was the only Indonesian on the listing.

Zulkarnaen argued that he was a chief of the network’s navy wing but was not included at all ranges of procedure in the Bali bombings since he was concentrating on organising followers in sectarian conflicts in Ambon and Poso and in the southern Philippines.

All through his trial that began in September, other convicted militants in the 2002 Bali bombings, including Umar Patek and Ali Imron, who have been sentenced to 20 years and life in jail respectively, supported Zulkarnaen’s argument, expressing he realized about the plot but did not participate in a function in its operation.

An Indonesian court banned Jemaah Islamiyah in 2008, and a sustained crackdown by protection forces with aid from the US and Australia aided weaken the militant network.

Militant assaults on foreigners in Indonesia have largely been changed in latest yrs by scaled-down, fewer deadly strikes concentrating on the federal government, generally police and safety forces, encouraged by Islamic State team strategies abroad.

Indonesia’s law enforcement counterterrorism unit, known as Densus 88, has arrested a lot more than 500 suspected Jemaah Islamiyah associates in the past two decades, like a member of the Indonesia Ulema Council, the country’s optimum Islamic overall body, who was arrested previous month.

Authorities estimate the team has additional than 6000 customers.

Information Makanany