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Bali's 'Laughing Bomber' Loses Appeal Against Death Sentence


The first man to be convicted of involvement in last October's deadly bombing on the Indonesian island of Bali has lost his appeal against the death sentence.

The high court in Bali dismissed Amrozi bin Nurhasyim's appeal against his conviction for terrorist offenses, saying they remain certain of his guilt and the appropriateness of the sentence.

Amrozi, a 40-year-old mechanic, was convicted last month of buying the explosives and the minivan used in the Bali bombing. Two hundred two people died when nearly a ton of explosives in the minivan exploded outside a nightclub packed with western tourists.

Amrozi's lawyers appealed on the grounds that his role in the conspiracy did not merit the death penalty and that the anti-terror law under which he was tried was illegally applied retroactively.

The lead lawyer in Amrozi's case, Wirawan Adnan, said the defense team has 14 days to decide what to do next. "The next step, I'm appealing to the Supreme Court," he said. "First, I have to get an authorization from my client Amrozi to do it, whether he wants to go through it again."

Although the initial legal process for the Bali bombers has been relatively swift, the appeals process might take years. If the supreme court also rejects Amrozi's appeal, he can then ask the president for clemency. If that is rejected and he can produce no new evidence of his innocence, he will face death by firing squad.

Amrozi has shown no remorse for his actions, and during his trial was nicknamed the "laughing bomber." He said the "white people had it coming" for what he believed was their introduction of debauchery to the Islamic world.

Like all the other suspects in the bombing, Amrozi is believed to be a member of Jemaah Islamiyah, or JI, a regional terrorist group with connections to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

The capture of Amrozi and dozens of other suspected JI members has dealt a severe blow to the group, but analysts warn that the war against terror is far from over in Southeast Asia.