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Second Indonesian Militant in Two Days Sentenced to Death for Australian Embassy Bombing

  • Tim Johnston

A court in Indonesia has sentenced to death another of the men responsible for last September's car bomb attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta. Achmad Mohamed Hasan, who was convicted of planning and implementing terrorism, is the second member of the gang to receive the death penalty in two days.

Achmad Mohamed Hasan admitted he was involved in the plot that led to the deaths of 10 innocent people when a car bomb blew up outside the Australian embassy just over a year ago. But after Wednesday's verdict, he said he didn't believe he deserved the death penalty.

Hasan was convicted of providing shelter for the two masterminds behind the blast, Malaysians Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammed Top, while they planned the attack. The court heard how Hasan carried out surveys of the target, and on the day of the explosion he drove Azahari Husin there on a motorbike, so the Malaysian could see his deadly handiwork in action.

The judge, Sobari, says Hasan's crimes deserved the death penalty.

Southeast Asia's militant Islamic movement, Jemaah Islamiyah, has proved one of al-Qaida's most deadly affiliates. In October 2002, it bombed a nightclub on the island of Bali, killing 202 people. In August 2003, it struck again, killing 12 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. And then 10 more, including a young mother waiting to collect documents and a 16-year-old student going home to study for exams, were killed when Hasan and his associates detonated their bomb outside the Australian embassy last year.

Indonesia has had considerable success in fighting the militants. Hasan is the fifth man to be sentenced to death for terrorism since the Bali bombing, and dozens more have been given long prison sentences for lesser roles.

But Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammed Top, the two men analysts say are the linchpins of the bombing campaign, are still at large, and the police have little doubt they are planning new attacks.