Radical Indonesian cleric seeks to overturn terrorism conviction

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir began a fresh bid Tuesday to have his 15-year jail sentence on terrorism-related charges in Indonesia quashed.

Bashir, 77, was convicted in 2011 of incitement to terrorism for his support for a training camp in Aceh province where authorities said militants had plotted to launch terrorist attacks and political assassinations. 

"The jail sentence is a gross injustice," Bashir's lawyer Ahmad Michdan told dpa after a first hearing at the Cilacap district court in Central Java province.

"Abu Bakar Bashir has never engaged in acts of terrorism or planned any," he said.  

The hearings will resume on January 26. 

Bashir co-founded Jemaah Islamiyah, the radical group blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign holidaymakers, and other deadly attacks in Indonesia.

But prosecutors' attempts to link him to the bombings failed, and Bashir was instead sentenced to 18 months for immigration violations in 2005.

His immigration conviction was overturned after he had fully served his sentence in 2006.

Bashir was rearrested in 2010 and then convicted on charges related to the Aceh camp. 

Last update: Tue, 12/01/2016 - 11:48

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