Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bima preacher jailed for terrorism

Bima preacher jailed for terrorism
The Jakarta Post | Thu, 03/29/2012 9:11 AM
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The Tangerang District Court sentenced on Wednesday the principal of the Umar bin Khattab Islamic boarding school in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, to 17 years in prison for his preaching on jihad that led to terrorism acts.

The panel of judges said that defendant Abrory bin Al Ayub, alias Maskadov, had misled his pupils with his teachings and even had ordered one of them to kill a police officer during a raid at the school.

Sya’ban was sentenced to 15 years in jail for the murder in a separate hearing on the same day.

“The defendant’s deeds caused many people to suffer from injuries and he tainted the good reputation of Indonesia which has promoted the eradication of terrorism,” presiding judge Iman Gultom read from the sentence.

Based on testimonies heard at the court, Abrory was also proven guilty of assembling homemade bombs and ordered his pupils to arm themselves when police raided the school.

However, the court did not find that Abrory had links to any terrorist cell, although the National Antiterrorism Agency believed that Umar Patek, the country’s most-wanted terrorist suspect, had had dealings with the Bima boarding school.

A bomb exploded at the school on July 11 last year, killing the school’s treasurer. The police seized homemade bombs, along with weapons and VCDs with lessons about jihad in a follow-up raid. The case was tried in Tangerang due to security reasons.

Abrory’s lawyer, Asruddin, regarded the punishment as too harsh.

“What comes to be our objection to the verdict is that the panel of judges made assumptions about the possible impact of my client’s teachings, but they could not prove that my client was a perpetrator of terrorism acts,” he told reporters.

In a separate session, the judges also handed down a 42-month prison term to each of four other defendants, the pupils and relatives of Abrory, for abetting in harboring Abrory while he was on the run from the police. They are Rahmat Ibnu Umar alias Rahmat bin Effendi, Asraf alias Tauhid, Furqon and Rahmad Hidayat.

Another defendant, Mustakim Abdullah, 16, had been previously sentenced to a 15 months’ jail term. The Tangerang District court accelerated his trial because the defendant was still underage.

— JP/Multa Fidrus

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