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US Disappointed Over Prison Sentence for Indonesian Cleric in Terror Case

  • Meredith Buel

The United States says it is disappointed with the 30-month prison sentence handed down Thursday, by an Indonesian court to a militant Muslim cleric convicted in connection with the 2002 Bali bombings. A court in Jakarta sentenced Abu Bakar Bashir on conspiracy charges, but found that he was not directly involved in the Bali attack that killed 202 people.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says Bashir's sentence is not appropriate considering the crime.

"We are disappointed with the results of this trial. We believe these results are not commensurate with Bashir's culpability," he said. "During the trial the prosecutors presented substantial evidence, which we found convincing, of Bashir's involvement in terrorism. In particular, therefore, we are disturbed by the message sent by the relatively brief sentence."

On a more positive note, Mr. Boucher says Indonesia has prosecuted and convicted more than 100 terrorists since the Bali bombing.

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