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Trial Begins for Bali Bombing Suspect Ali Imron - 2003-07-21


A man who has admitted making one of the bombs that killed 202 people on the Indonesian island of Bali last October has gone on trial. Ali Imron is the third member of his family to be implicated in the bombing.

Ali Imron is charged with a key role of building and delivering the largest of three bombs that were detonated the night of October 12. That bomb exploded outside the Sari Club, a nightspot popular with foreign tourists, causing most of the deaths.

More than 30 men have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the bombing. Many, including Ali Imron, have confessed their roles. Earlier this year, he demonstrated to police and journalists how the bomb he made had been packed into 48 packing crates, with three alternative methods of detonation.

He is the only one of the 30 detainees to express regret for the bombing, and unlike most of his co-accused, he has not used his testimony in the trials of other defendants to proclaim his vision of Islamic militancy.

He seemed to further distance himself from the rest of the accused Monday by wearing a shirt and tie, rather than the flowing Islamic robes favored by his brothers.

The 30-year-old defendant is the youngest of three brothers to be accused in the attack. The police say the oldest of the three, Ali Ghufron, is a senior member of the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, and is charged with having a command role in the Bali attack.

The middle brother, Amrozi, who was dubbed "the laughing bomber" after he was seen joking with his police captors following his arrest, was the first to go on trial. He has admitted buying the chemicals used to build the bomb and the minivan into which it was packed.

The five judges hearing Mr Amrozi's case adjourned the proceedings on Monday after hearing the final defense arguments. They said they would hand down a verdict on August seventh. All of the accused, including Ali Imron, could face death by firing squad, if they are found guilty.

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