Tue, Jul 01, 2003 - Page 5 News List

Bali case turns to al-Qaeda link

AP AND REUTERS , BALI AND JAKARTA

Prosecutors for the first time yesterday linked last year's Bali bombings on the al-Qaeda-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah.

Until now in the trials of three bombing suspects, prosecutors have avoided implicating the group, despite it having been accused of involvement by Indonesia's government and other countries.

In one of the trials later yesterday, prosecutors were expected to recommend a punishment for defendant Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, known as the "smiling bomber."

The maximum penalty he could face is death under the country's newly enacted anti-terror law.

Amrozi was the first of 34 suspects to go on trial over the Oct. 12 bombings that killed 202 people, mostly tourists.

Prosecutors have accused Amrozi, a 40-year-old mechanic, of buying the materials and the minivan used in one of the attacks. In earlier testimony, he admitted his role in the Bali bloodshed and told his lawyers he was ready for punishment.

Police and government officials have accused Amrozi of being a member of Jemaah Islamiyah.

Prosecutor Urip Tri Gunawan told the court yesterday that Amrozi and two others on trial for the attack were members of the group.

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