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Suspect Apologizes for Bali Bombing - 2003-09-15

A confessed member of a group that killed more than 200 people in a bomb attack on the Indonesian island of Bali has apologized again for his role in the attack.

Reading from a prepared statement Monday, Ali Imron told the court he was only following orders when he parked a car outside a crowded nightclub last October. A bomb in the car exploded, killing 202 people, most of them young Western tourists.

Prosecutors have asked for a 20-year jail term for Ali Imron, the youngest of three brothers who have confessed to involvement in the bombing.

Ali Imron, a former teacher in an Islamic school, has repeatedly stressed his remorse for the deaths, and has said he would not advise his pupils to follow in his footsteps.

His remorse might save him from the firing squad. Two co-conspirators, his elder brother Amrozi and the gang's mastermind Imam Samudra, have already been sentenced to death.

Although prosecutors have asked for a 20-year sentence for Ali Imron, under Indonesian law the five-judge panel is not bound by their recommendation. They are expected to hand down their verdict next month.

Two other minor members of the plot were sentenced Monday. Andri Oktavia was sentenced to 16 years in jail for robbing a gold store to raise money for the bombing, and Makmuri was given seven years for hiding one of the plotters.

Police have said that all 36 men arrested in connection with the bombing are members of Jemaah Islamiyah, or JI, a regional terrorist group with ties to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

More than 200 suspected JI members have been arrested around Asia over the past 18 months, but analysts have warned that the group is still strong enough to strike again.