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Indonesia Arrests Another Bali Bombing Suspect - 2003-06-30


Indonesian authorities have arrested another suspect in last year's bombing in Bali. The news comes as prosecutors recommend the death penalty for the first suspect to be tried in connection with the attack.

Indonesian police said they arrested Idris, also known as Jhoni Hendrawan, in Medan on the island of Sumatra more than two weeks ago. They say he has confessed to his role in the October 12 bombing of tourist nightspots in Bali, which killed 202 people, most of them foreigners on vacation.

Authorities say Idris is a member of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian radical Islamic group that counter-terrorism officials say is linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

But the level of Idris' alleged role in the Bali bombing is not clear. Some reports say he helped execute but not plan the attack. Others, however, label him as a senior operative who was directly involved in planning the bombing and who arranged funds and housing for the attackers.

Even as news of Idris' arrest surfaced, the first man arrested in the Bali bombing found himself facing a death sentence. In a court in Bali on Monday prosecutors asked that Amrozi, who has admitted his role in the attack, be put to death under provisions of Indonesia's new anti-terrorism law.

Amrozi sat impassively as the prosecution summarized its case and called for the 40-year-old mechanic to face a firing squad. Government lawyers say Amrozi bought one of the minivans and other materials used in the attack.

Amrozi has said he and his fellow conspirators planned the attack as revenge for what they perceive as injustice against Muslims by the U.S. government. He is reported to have regretted that the attack killed far more Australians than Americans.

The presiding five-judge panel has not yet rendered a verdict. The panel is under no obligation to follow the prosecution's recommendation. If it does, however, Amrozi will be the first person executed under the new anti-terrorism law, which was passed after the Bali attack.

Amrozi is the first of 34 suspects to be tried for the bombing. At least four other key suspects are still being hunted.

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