“The Jakarta Superior Court has overturned militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir’s treason and sedition conviction, and cut his jail term from four years to three.” This from Straits Times, with thanks to nicolei.
Judges said prosecutors failed to prove Bashir had taken part in a plot by the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terror network to overthrow the government. . . .
Police detained him following last year’s Bali bombings. Prosecutors accused him of two counts of treason, of having false papers, and of illegally exiting and entering the country. . . .
In the trial that ended in September, he beat the more serious treason charges, but was convicted on the other three. Prosecutors had sought a 15-year jail term.
The international community criticised September’s verdict, saw the punishment as light, and questioned Jakarta’s resolve to root out potential terrorists.
This latest ruling is likely to further disappoint some foreign governments, including several major donors to Indonesia, which have insisted Bashir led JI at least until 2000, and continued to play a major role after that.
A foreign diplomat based in Jakarta said: ‘By rolling back Bashir’s jail term, the court hurts the country’s efforts to fight terror. The body of evidence for his leadership of JI is clear and convincing.’ . . .
Despite foreign intelligence information that Bashir played a major role in JI, the authorities have not linked him to either the Bali blasts or August’s blast at the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta. Both incidents have been blamed on the group.