Indonesian Court Cuts Radical Cleric’s Prison Term

Posted October 26th, 2011 at 1:45 pm (UTC-5)
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An appeals court in Indonesia has cut the prison term of a radical Muslim preacher who is linked to the deadly 2002 Bali bombings and was convicted of inciting terrorism.

The court in Jakarta reduced the sentence last week of Islamist convict Abu Bakar Bashir from 15 to nine years. In announcing the move Wednesday, a court spokesman declined to explain the decision until a court transcript is released at a later date.

Bashir was jailed in June by a lower court for funding a terrorist training camp that was allegedly planning attacks against Westerners and political leaders in Indonesia — the world's most-populous Muslim-majority country. Prosecutors at the time said targets included President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and called for a 20-year to life sentence.

The 73-year-old cleric denies that he financed terrorist activity, but his fiery preaching has long inspired the nation's most radical Islamists. He is considered the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, which is blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

Bashir spent more than two years in prison on charges related to the Bali attacks before that conviction was overturned.