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Trail Begins for Bali Blast Suspect - 2003-05-12


The first suspect accused of involvement in last October’s deadly bombing on the Indonesian Island of Bali has gone on trial. The attack killed more than 200 people and is the worst terrorist attack in Indonesian history. VOA-TV’S Jim Bertel reports.

The first of more than 30 suspects accused in last year’s devastating Bali bombing went on trial Monday. Amrozi bin Nurhasyim is accused of buying the mini-van and explosive materials used in the attack. If convicted, Mr. Amrozi faces the death penalty.

The October 12th attack at two nightclubs killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists, including 88 Australians. Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia, David Ritchie, was on hand for today’s court proceedings and said it was an emotional day for him.

DAVID RITCHIE, AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR TO INDONESIA
"I've never seen Amrozi in the flesh. Of course, I've seen him on television. I'll try and contain personal emotions for the moment because we still have a legal process to go through. But it will be a fairly emotional day for us all, particularly when you consider not just the 88 Australians who died, but the many others who died, people who've had their lives ruined, particularly Balinese people, but also many Australians who were scarred and have had a terrible time."

British Ambassador to Indonesia Richard Grozny told reporters he is pleased with the judicial process so far.

RICHARD GROZNY, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO INDONESIA
“The police have done tremendous work over the last seven months. We all look forward to hearing the results now and then it’s up to the court to judge.”

Indonesian Police Chief Made Mangku Pastika is pleased the trial is underway.

MADE MANGKU PASTIKA, INDONESIAN POLICE CHIEF
“Today is (a) very, very important day. Today is a great day for the justice process in Indonesia and also for the world.” After hearing the presentation of charges against Mr. Amrozi, the trial was adjourned for a week. The proceedings are expected to last several months.

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