Suspected Bali bomber arrives at Indonesian court for trial
By Arlina Arshad ,AFPJAKARTA -- A Muslim militant arrested in the same Pakistani town where U.S. commandos later killed Osama bin Laden stood trial in Indonesia Monday on charges including murder for the 2002 Bali bombings.
February 14, 2012, 12:02 am TWN
Umar Patek, 45, faces five other counts, including bomb-making and illegal firearms possession, and prosecutors say they will push for the death penalty.
Amid a security lockdown, with anti-terrorism units deployed in Jakarta, Patek arrived at the court in an armored police vehicle, giving a two-thumbs up gesture with his handcuffed hands, but said nothing.
The Indonesian is charged with premeditated murder and assembling bombs for the October 2002 Bali nightclub attacks, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians, and strikes on churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve of 2000.
“Defendant Umar Patek committed an evil conspiracy with others to commit a crime by bringing in, obtaining, providing or owning firearms, ammunition or explosive materials and other dangerous materials to carry out terrorism,” prosecutor Widodo Supriady said, reading part of the indictment to court.
Wearing a white Muslim skull cap, white trousers, white shirt and an orange prison shirt, he smiled broadly to reporters before entering a holding cell inside the court building.
The West Jakarta district courtroom was packed with about 100 spectators, more than half of them reporters, many of whom were working for Australian media.
Patek, facing a panel of five judges, was flanked by prosecutors and defense lawyers, who say attempts are being made to paint him as a Bali bombings mastermind.
He sat in a white shirt, wearing glasses and quietly reading the indictment. After the session adjourned for next Monday, he shook hands with judges and prosecutors and smiled as he was escorted from the courtroom.
The trial of Patek, believed to be a key member of the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), is expected to last over four months as prosecutors present evidence from 86 witnesses.
They will testify to Patek's decade-long involvement in terror, prosecutor Bambang Suharyadi told AFP.