A court has found Umar Patek guilty for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings. The verdict concludes a 10-year probe into Indonesia’s deadliest act of terrorism.
After his four-month trial, Patek, called "Demolition Man" by Indonesian media, will serve a 20-year jail sentence. He had faced charges including premeditated murder, illegal firearms possession and murder.
Because he showed remorse during the trial, prosecutors had sought a life sentence, sparing Patek, the final suspect in Indonesian custody to be tried for the attacks, the penalty of death by firing squad. Claiming that he had been against the attacks from the beginning, Patek apologized to victims and their families for helping to assemble the explosives that killed more than 200 people in twin suicide bombings at a bar and a nightclub.
"Indonesians and the international community have long waited for this case to be over," Bambang Suharyadi, the prosecutor, said last month.
Patek had spent eight years as Indonesia's most-wanted terror suspect, evading a $1 million US bounty, before finally being arrested in January 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Navy SEALs would kill Osama bin Laden just four months later. He was extradited to Indonesia last August.
Indonesia could not charge Patek for the attacks under the country's terrorism laws, first implemented in 2003.
Patek testified that he played a minor role in assembling the explosives, saying he mixed only 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of chemicals out of a ton, and denied having any expertise in making bombs.
In 2008, Indonesia executed three men for their roles in the Bali attacks. Several others have been jailed, including the bomb maker Ali Imron, who was given a life sentence for helping build and deliver bombs.
The only suspect yet to be tried is Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, who allegedly helped orchestrate the attacks and has been detained at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay since 2006, accused of having financial links to al Qaeda.
mkg/sej (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)