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Bali bomb-maker Umar Patek jailed for 20 years

An Indonesian court has sentenced the man accused of being the chief explosives maker for the 2002 Bali bombings to 20 years in prison.

Umar Patek, 45, was facing six charges, several of which were terrorism-related. He admitted helping mix chemicals for the bombs, but said he was not involved in the attacks, which killed more than 200 people, mostly foreigners.

Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence.

The Bali attacks targeted Paddy’s Bar and the Sari Club in the resort of Kuta. Those killed were from 21 countries, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians and 28 Britons. The bombings were blamed on the Jemaah Islamiah militant network.

Three men were executed in 2008 for playing key roles in the attacks and two others have been killed in raids. Patek, whose trial began in February, was arrested in January 2011 in Abbottabad, the Pakistani town where Osama Bin Laden was later killed in a US raid. He was extradited to Indonesia in August 2011.

Police were deployed to guard the court, which opened its session at 09:20 (02:20 GMT).

Judges read the charges and a long summary of witness testimony before delivering their verdict.

As well as the Bali bombings, Patek was also accused of preparing bombs for attacks on churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve 2000. Lawyers for Umar Patek sought to play down his role in the Bali blasts, saying he was involved in the preparation of the bombs but not in carrying out the attacks.

Patek himself has admitted helping to assemble the explosives, but said he was not the chief bomb-maker, as prosecutors alleged. He asked for ”forgiveness” in court, saying he was against the attacks “from the start”.

“We hope that what will be decided by the judge will be in accordance with the share of mistakes made by Umar Patek,” said Ashluddin Hatjani, part of the defence team.

Source: BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated October 24, 2016 at 6:05 PM
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