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Indonesian court hears militant behind church blasts

Last Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 18:13

Jakarta: A convicted Indonesian terrorist
said suspected Bali bomber Umar Patek also prepared the
explosives used in a string of attacks on Jakarta churches in
2000, a court heard on Thursday.

Eddy Setiono, who is serving a life sentence for terror
offences, told a Jakarta court that he drove a car to several
churches on Christmas Eve 2000 while Patek "set up" bombs --
disguised as gifts -- in the back seat.

The bombs were delivered to churches and clergymen
killing 19 people and injuring scores more.

Speaking at Patek`s trial over the church attacks and the
2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than 200 people, Setiono
said the pair wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims in Ambon
and Poso in eastern Indonesia.

Sectarian violence claimed the lives of more than 6,000
Christians and Muslims between 1999 and 2002 in the two towns.
"We did that because of Ambon. Our conscience had spoken
to us," Setiono said.

"For the Christmas bombing, I drove the car to several
churches in Jakarta... while Umar Patek set up the bombs in
the back seat," he added.

Patek, 45, went on trial in February on charges including
murder, bomb-making and possession of illegal firearms for the
church attacks and Bali nightclubs blasts, which killed 202
people including 88 Australians.

Once the most-wanted terror suspect in Indonesia, who
spent nearly a decade on the run, Patek had a USD 1 million
bounty placed on his head by the United States.

He was extradited to Indonesia after being arrested in
January 2011 in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, where US
commandos killed Al-Qaeda chief bin Laden in May.

His trial is expected to last over four months as
prosecutors present evidence from 86 witnesses. Prosecutors
say they will push for the death penalty.(AFP)


First Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 18:10
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