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Bali Bombing Suspect Formally Charged


Indonesian prosecutors have formally charged the first man accused of involvement in last October's bomb attack on the island of Bali, in which more than 200 people died. The move comes as the trial of the alleged leader of Indonesia's main terrorist organization moves into its second day in Jakarta.

Prosecutors say they have charged Amrozi with four counts of terrorism under Indonesia's new anti-terror legislation. Under the law, he could face the death penalty. No other details of the charges were provided.

Mr. Amrozi, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, was the first suspect to be arrested after two bombs devastated a crowded tourist area on the island of Bali on October 12. Most of the more than 200 people killed were foreign tourists.

Police say Mr. Amrozi confessed to buying the chemicals used to make the bomb, and driving a van used in the attack to the bombing site. Police say a small bomb was first detonated inside one bar to attract people to the area, and then the van, packed with explosives, was blown up, inflicting the most damage.

Police say the Bali attack was the work of Jemaah Islamiyah - a regional militant group that Washington says is linked to the al-Qaida terror network. JI, as it is known, wants to create an Islamic state spanning several Southeast Asian countries.

The trial of JI's alleged spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, is now in its second day. Mr. Bashir is charged with treason for his alleged involvement in a separate series of bombings, plus a foiled plan to attack Western interests in Singapore, and an aborted plan to assassinate Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Speaking in court Wednesday, Mr. Bashir insisted he was innocent of the charges against him - and said he would be judged in heaven.

Although police say JI is responsible for the Bali bombing, Mr. Bashir has not been charged in connection with that attack.

Prosecutors say the trial of Mr. Amrozi will begin before May 12. The alleged ringleader of the Bali bombing, Imam Samudra, is expected to be charged soon.

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