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Indonesia Hands Over Evidence Against Key Suspect in Bali Bombing - 2003-02-14


Indonesian police have handed over nearly 2,000 pages of evidence against a key suspect in last October's terrorist bomb attack on Bali. The man's trial is expected to start in the coming weeks.

The Indonesian police gave prosecutors a massive file of evidence Friday, which they say is enough to start court proceedings against the suspect named Amrozi.

Police spokesman Yatim Suyatmo says Mr. Amrozi's file has been completed according to instructions by the prosecutors. It is 1,922 pages thick. According to the police, Mr. Amrozi confessed to owning the van that was packed with explosives and detonated on a busy Bali tourist strip last October. They said he drove the van from East Java to Bali. Police say they expect the prosecution to charge Mr. Amrozi with illegal possession of explosives and launching a premeditated bomb attack, among other crimes. Officials say he will be prosecuted under Indonesia's anti-terrorism decree, which was issued in the wake of the Bali bombing. He could face the death penalty under that decree.

The police first handed over evidence against Mr. Amrozi last month, but the prosecutors returned it, saying that it was incomplete. A former motorcycle mechanic, Mr. Amrozi was the first to be arrested, about three weeks after the attack. Two of his brothers, Ali Imron and Ali Ghufron have also been detained for their alleged involvement, as have another 13 main suspects. 192 people died in what officials describe as the worst terrorist attack ever on Indonesian soil. Many of the dead were foreign tourists, 88 of them, Australians. Indonesian police say the Bali bombers are part of a regional militant group called Jemaah Islamiyah, or JI. The group allegedly uses violence as a means to achieve its goal of forming an Islamic state that would span much of Southeast Asia. The United States and several of Indonesia's neighbors charge that the group is linked to the al-Qaida terror network.

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