When Abu Bakr Bashir was sentenced, we wrote: “how much Bashir actually serves of a 15-year prison term in Indonesia will be anyone’s guess.”
The reduction in his sentence has occurred very quietly, with no explanation given. Now, it is officially down to nine years, and that will not be the end of the story. Bashir’s lawyer intends to appeal to the supreme court. “Indonesian court slashes radical cleric’s sentence,” by Noor Fatchi for the Associated Press, October 26 (thanks to Bill):
JAKARTA, Indonesia””A radical Islamic cleric accused of setting up a terror training camp in western Indonesia had his prison sentence slashed from 15 years to nine years, an appeals court said Wednesday. No reason was given for the decision.
Abu Bakar Bashir, known as the spiritual leader of al-Qaida-linked militants blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings, was accused of providing key support for the camp that brought together men from almost every known extremist group in the predominantly Muslim country.
They were allegedly planning Mumbai-styled gun attacks on foreigners in the capital, Jakarta, and the assassinations of moderate leaders, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
In March, a district court sentenced the 72-year-old cleric to 15 years in prison for inciting terrorism, but his lawyers appealed.
The Jakarta High Court quietly handed down its ruling Oct. 20.
“All I can say right now is that his sentence was reduced to nine years,” Achmad Sobari, a court spokesman, told The Associated Press.
“I do not know exactly what factors were taken into account in the judge’s decision.”
Bashir’s lawyer, Mohammad Mahendradatta, said he was awaiting official notification from the court. He stressed, however, that his client was innocent and should be freed.
Even nine years was an outrage, he said, vowing to appeal to the Supreme Court….