RealNews

Cleric's Sentence Is Reduced by Indonesian Court

On the eve of a visit to Indonesia by the secretary for homeland security, Tom Ridge, the Indonesian Supreme Court has reduced the prison sentence of the suspected spiritual leader of an Islamic group, Jemaah Islamiyah, which the United States has labeled a terrorist organization. The cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir, who was convicted last September on minor immigration charges and sentenced to three years, is likely to be free within a few weeks. The court on Tuesday declined to reinstate treason charges against Mr. Bashir, which the prosecution had sought. The American Embassy expressed extreme disappointment with the court’s decision. “We believe there is extensive evidence of Bashir’s role as the leader of J. I. and that the organization committed numerous terrorist acts at his direction,” said Stanley Harsha, an embassy spokesman. He added that the United States was planning to ask Indonesian authorities to reinstate the charges or file new ones “using fully available evidence at their disposal.” Full Story

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