Yesterday, the Council of Judges of the South Jakarta District Court rejected the request of the Defendant Abubakar Ba'asyir for exception to charges, therefore allowing the trial of the fanatic cleric to proceed.
During the first session of trial at the Court last February, the prosecutor indicted him of inciting others to commit terrorism, a crime that carries a death penalty. previous trial session.
Ba'asyir denied all links to any extremist activity - he maintains he is a spiritual, religious leader and that he has been unfairly accused.
He and his lawyers said that the Prosecutors' charges against him were “vague”, “unclear”, “careless” and “incomplete”, and had requested that they be annulled.
During the era of the late President Suharto, Abubakar Ba'asyir was arrested for non-recognition of the Indonesian national ideology Pancasila which promotes religious pluralism, and refusal of his school to salute the Indonesian flag which signified Bashir's refusal to recognise the authority of a secular Indonesian state.
In 1985 Ba'asyir fled to Malaysia where he lived in exile, and returned to Indonesia after Suharto stepped down from power in 1998.
In 2003, he was charged with treason, immigration violations, and providing false documents and statements to the Police. The charges were related to the 2000 Christmas Eve bombings against Christian churches, which killed 18 people. The Court found him not guilty of treason, but was found guilty on the immigration violations. He was sentenced to three years in prison, but the sentence was reduced to 20 months due to his good behavior in the prison.
In 2004, he was arrested by the Police and charged with involvement in the suicide bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta on August, 2003, which killed 14 people, and in the 2002 Bali suicide bombing, which killed 202 people. The Court found him guilty of conspiracy over the 2002 suicide bombing, but not guilty of charges surrounding the 2003 suicide bombing. He was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment, but was later cut by 4 months and 15 days. And on 14 June 2006, he was released.