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Indonesia Seeks Death Penalty for IS-linked Cleric

Aman Abdurrahman, center, sits on the defendant's chair during his trial at South Jakarta District Court in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 18, 2018.

Indonesian prosecutors sought the death penalty on Friday for a radical Islamic cleric who is accused of masterminding a series of attacks from jail.

Aman Abdurrahman, the leader of Islamic State-linked Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD) is on trial for "planning and/or mobilizing others to carry out terrorist acts ... to create an atmosphere of terror among the public."

Prosecutor Anita Dewayani told a panel of five judges in Jakarta that Abdurrahman's acts had resulted in deaths and injuries and under Indonesia's anti-terrorism laws the defendant, if found guilty, should face the death sentence.

Police and prosecutors have linked Abdurrahman to an alleged plot for a "Paris-style attack" targeting foreigners, and the January 2016 suicide attacks in downtown Jakarta in which eight people were killed, including four attackers.

They also have said that Abdurrahman was behind a suicide attack last year that left three police officers dead at a Jakarta bus station, the bombing of a church in Samarinda on Borneo Island that wounded four children and the bombings in Thamrin Kampung Melayu.

Abdurrahman's lawyer said in court that there was no evidence to link the defendant to the attacks.

The next hearing was set for May 25, where he and his lawyer, appointed by the court will respond to the prosecution.

Abdurrahman, a key ideologue for Islamic State militants in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, had refused to be represented, telling the court: “I'll do my own defense.”

He was sentenced to prison in 2004 after a bomb prematurely exploded at a house in West Java, and again in 2011 for his role in helping set up a jihadi training camp in a mountainous area of Aceh province.