Accessibility links

Alleged Mastermind of Bali Bombing Goes on Trial in Indonesia - 2003-06-02

The alleged mastermind of the October Bali bombing has gone on trial, in what is being called the deadly terrorist attack in Indonesia's history. Imam Samudra faces a possible death penalty if convicted of planning the attack that killed more than 200 people. The trial opened with prosecutors reading a 43-page indictment against the man accused of masterminding the Bali bombings, Imam Samudra.

Prosecutor I. Nyoman Dila says Mr. Samudra faces four counts of terrorism for planning the attack in which bombs were placed outside the U.S. Consulate in Bali, in front of Sari's Club, inside Paddy's Club, causing terror and fear on a massive scale and resulting in mass casualties from various countries. The October 12 attack is considered the worst terrorist incident in Indonesia's history.

First a small bomb was detonated inside a bar, Paddy's Club, in order attract people to the area. Then a car bomb was detonated on the street in front of another popular bar, Sarai's Club, which caused the most damage. At roughly the same time, a third bomb was placed 50 meters away from the U.S. Consulate in Bali, but no one was injured.

Police have arrested more than 30 suspects for participating in the bombing. But prosecutors say there is no doubt as to who was the brains behind the attack.

Mr. Dila says it was Imam Samudra who conceived and planned the bombing.

Authorities say Imam Samudra, a 33 year-old computer expert, confessed shortly after his arrest in November. He has said he wanted to kill Americans and their allies, which he accuses of trying to oppress the Islamic world.

He is believed to be a senior member of the regional militant group, Jemaah Islamiyah, which wants to build an Islamic state across Southeast Asia.

The United States and the United Nations both classify JI as a terrorist organization with links to the al-Qaida network. JI however is not mentioned in the indictment of Mr. Samudra, even though authorities have linked the bombing to the group. Prosecutors say the facts of the case are to be brought to trial - not an ideology. If convicted, Imam Samudra could face the death penalty. His only statement in court Monday was "Allahu Akbar", or god is great. Mr. Samudra is not the first suspect to go on trial. The case against Amrozi bin Nur Hasyim began last month on charges he purchased the materials for the bombs and arranged to transport them.