The Indo’s are not serious. Our Bali 9 got more for trying to smuggle drugs. This guy is guilty of murdering more than 200 people.
The last member of the 2002 Bali bombing plot to face justice has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after a panel of judges found him guilty of mass murder for his role in Indonesia’s deadliest terrorist attack. (9News)
Umar Patek, who spent almost 10 years on the run as one of South-East Asia’s most wanted, was on Thursday found guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorism and harbouring information about terrorism.
But more significantly, the 45-year-old was also sentenced on Thursday in relation to his role in building the explosive devices used in the bombing of two nightclubs in Bali’s popular holiday area of Kuta almost a decade ago.
The Sari Club was levelled when a massive bomb loaded into a van parked outside was detonated just after 11pm on October 12, 2002.
About 20 seconds earlier, a suicide bomber had detonated a backpack loaded with explosives inside Paddy’s Bar.
The co-ordinated attacks, which were partly funded by al-Qaeda, killed 202 people including 88 Australians and injured scores more.
Authorities were not able to charge Patek with terrorism offences over the Bali bombing because Indonesia’s counter-terrorism laws were introduced after the attacks were carried out, and could not be applied retrospectively.
He was instead found guilty of mass murder under the Indonesian Criminal Code.
Krisnugroho, one of a panel of five judges presiding over the case in the West Jakarta District Court, said they were unanimous in finding that the murder charge against Patek had been proven.
“The defendant was deliberately involved in planning the Bali bombing,” Krisnugroho, who has only one name, told the court.
“Apart from that, the defendant admitted himself that he was involved (in preparing the bombs).”
Patek was also found guilty on Thursday of one count of possession of explosives, and a number of minor offences related to document fraud.
While a number of the charges carried a maximum penalty of death, prosecutors last month stopped short of calling for Patek to face a firing squad, instead demanding a sentence of life in prison.
The judges, however, handed down a sentence of just 20 years.
“His actions took lives, he caused deep suffering to victims and their families,” chief judge Encep Yuliadi told the court as he read out the sentence.
Dressed in a white robe, Patek showed little emotion as the verdict and sentence were delivered.
The verdict, handed down amid a massive media presence, marked the end of an almost decade-long effort to bring all the plotters behind the Bali bombings to justice with Patek the last of the group to be caught.
A number of those already convicted over Indonesia’s deadliest terrorist attack are serving life sentences, while three members of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terror cell responsible for the bombings – Mukhlas, Amrozi and Imam Samudra – were executed in 2008.
The terrorist known as Dulmatin, a senior JI figure and the mastermind behind the Bali bombings, was killed in Jakarta in 2010 in a shootout with police.
Patek had avoided capture for almost a decade but was eventually apprehended in January 2011 in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where US forces killed former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden less than four months later.