Key Bali Bombing Figure Returned to Indonesia for Trial

Posted August 11th, 2011 at 7:20 am (UTC-5)
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The last key figure in the 2002 Bali bombings is back in Indonesia, where he will stand trial for that and other crimes.

A police spokesman confirmed that Umar Patek was flown to Jakarta Thursday from Pakistan, where he was arrested more than six months ago in the same garrison town where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed months afterward.

Patek, a munitions expert, is believed to have made the bombs that tore apart the Bali nightclubs, killing 202 people, including many Western tourists. Police say he has confessed to that and other crimes, including a series of deadly bombings at Christmas, 2000.

However, officials say he cannot be tried under Indonesia's tough anti-terrorism law, which was passed in 2003 and cannot be applied retroactively. He will likely face explosives charges under the regular criminal law and could still face the death penalty.

Patek is a suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, an Indonesia-based terrorist group linked with al-Qaida. Some reports say Patek was trying to meet with bin Laden at the time of his capture in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.

Besides Indonesia, Patek is wanted by authorities in the United States, Australia and the Philippines. The United States had offered a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture.