Bali bombers get a Ramadan discount


Islamic radicals to get sentence cuts

* Indonesian Muslims are laughing all the way to the next bombing. For most, the Bali mass-murderers are seen as ‘mujaheddin’, holy warriors. Their government treats them with velvet gloves because it fears a ‘backlash’ from the ‘radicals’. But of course these radicals are just a ‘tiny minority of extremists’- and Indonesia practices a ‘moderate form of Islam’, isn’t that right?

By Karen Michelmore/Nine MSM

Nine Islamic radicals convicted over Bali’s two terrorist attacks are in line to receive sentence cuts next week – on the same day as the anniversary of one of the bombings.

The third anniversary of the October 1, 2005, bombings – which killed 20 people including four Australians – falls on the same day as the start of the major Islamic holiday Idul Fitri this year.

Indonesian authorities said four men involved in those attacks had been recommended for a one-month sentence cut to mark the major religious holiday.

The four are serving sentences ranging from eight to 18 years in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison over the 2005 blasts, in which three suicide bombers attacked popular seafood cafes at Jimbaran Beach and a busy restaurant in Kuta.

Bali Justice Office head of registration, Anak Agung Anom Suryadarma, said Kerobokan Prison had recommended a total of nine people involved in the 2002 or 2005 Bali bombings receive remissions.

But, he said, authorities were still awaiting final approval from Indonesia’s government.

“There is a remission suggestion that must be conveyed to the Justice Ministry,” he said.

“Usually these suggestions would be approved the day before the celebration.

“So, with these Bali bombers convicted, we have passed these suggestions on to Jakarta.”

The other five men tipped to receive a sentence cut were convicted for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

They are all expected to receive a two-month remission to their prison terms, which range from 15 to 16 years.

Indonesia grants sentence cuts of up to six months twice a year – once to mark Independence Day and another to mark major religious holidays, handed out according to a convict’s faith.

Several of the nine also received sentence cuts to mark Indonesia’s Independence Day celebrations in August, along with convicted Australian drug smugglers Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence.

Both the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings and a series of other attacks have been blamed on the Jemaah Islamiah Islamic extremist network.

But the arrival of the religious holiday – marking the end of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan – again raises the prospect that the three key Bali bombers may be executed soon.

Islamic radicals Amrozi, his brother Mukhlas and Imam Samudra have exhausted all their legal options and could be executed soon for their roles in the 2002 terrorist attacks.