March 03, 2005
Bali Bombing Mastermind Sentenced to 4.5 days in Jail per Victim
Our allies in the Global War on Terror have finally convicted Abu Bakar Bashir (Ba'asyir), the mastermind of the Bali nightclub bombing, to a lengthy sentence. What does the mass murder of 202 infidels get you in Indonesia? 30 months.
That's 2.5 years.
That's 900 days.
That's 4.5 days per victim.
And who does the New York Times blame for the light sentence? Who else but G.W. Bush.
After a trial that lasted for several months, an Indonesian court today acquitted the radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir of the most serious terrorism charges in connection with the bombings in Bali and of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, and convicted him of only one count of criminal conspiracy.Of course, his light sentence could not have come because of extreme public pressure for his release. For instance, his indictment sparked riots on the streets of Indonesia and Indonesian authorities would let him out of his cell to walk the sreets and get cups of coffee.
The five-judge panel then sentenced the soft-spoken 66-year old cleric to 30 months in jail, but said that he would receive credit for the 10 months he has already served while awaiting trial.
Mr. Bashir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyaah, a suspected terrorist organization, was acquitted on six of the seven counts, including charges that he had been to a terrorist training camp in the Philippines. Even on the one count on which he was convicted, in connection with the Bali bombings, the judges said he had no direct role in those bombings, but that he "knew that the perpetrators of the bombing were people who have been trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan."
But the prosecution's case against Mr. Bashir was hampered because the Bush Administration has refused to make available to the Indonesians two key Al Qaeda members who are in American custody, Riudan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, and Omar al-Faruq.
The US and Australia, needless to say, are not happy campers. 88 of the 202 victims in the Bali bombing were Australian. JPOST:
"We'd like to see a longer sentence," Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told Sky News, adding however that Australians could at least take a little comfort in the fact that he would remain in jail for at least one more year.
Downer said Bashir "without any doubt" had been "a spiritual inspiration to Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia" and played a role in the bombings.
A US Embassy spokesman in Jakarta also said the sentence should have been longer.
"We respect the independence and judgment of the Indonesian courts," spokesman Max Kwak said. "But given the gravity of the charges on which he was convicted, we are disappointed at the length of the sentence."
Photos: Images from a March 3rd rally in support of Bashir. Notice the anti-Israel slogan in the second pic.
UPDATE: The Conservative Voice notes:
After the verdict was handed down, Bashir made the statements: â€œI'm being oppressed by people from abroad and at home. They consider Islamic law to be a shackle and are slaves to immoral behavior. Allah, open their hearts or destroy them!"
Chad Evans also on the case.