Militant Bashir ordered to serve 15 yrs

Indonesia`s top court upheld a 15-year jail term against Islamist militant Abu Bakar Bashir for terrorist acts.

Updated: Feb 27, 2012, 19:34 PM IST

Jakarta: Indonesia`s top court on Monday upheld
a 15-year jail term against Islamist militant Abu Bakar Bashir
for terrorist acts, reversing an earlier decision to slash the
sentence to nine years.

"Abu Bakar Bashir is proven to be guilty officially and
convincingly of committing terrorist acts," the Supreme Court
said in a ruling.

"The defendant is sentenced to 15 years in prison," said
court spokesman Ridwan Mansyur.

Bashir is regarded as a spiritual leader of militant
Islam in Indonesia and is an outspoken supporter of
al Qaeda-style jihad, but the 73-year-old has always denied
being a terrorist.

In June last year a lower court sentenced him to 15 years
in jail, but upon appeal the High Court slashed it to nine,
citing lack of evidence and old age.

Today`s Supreme Court ruling is final.
Bashir was the alleged founder and chief ideologue of the
Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), responsible for a string of attacks
including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, most
of them foreign tourists.

The United States on Thursday officially labelled the
Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid, founded by Bashir in 2008, a foreign
terrorist organisation, linking it to several attacks in
Indonesia.

The State Department accuses the group of being behind a
church bombing in Java last September, deadly attacks on
Indonesian policemen and bank robberies aimed at raising money
for weapons and bomb materials.

Bureau Report