Indonesian Trial Set for Key Bali Bombing Suspect

Posted February 9th, 2012 at 8:40 am (UTC-5)
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Indonesia says one of Asia's most wanted terrorism suspects will go on trial Monday for his alleged role in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than 200 people on the resort island.

Prosecutors are asking a court in West Jakarta to charge suspect Umar Patek with premeditated murder and the assembly of bombs used in attacks on Bali nightclubs. He also faces similar charges for his alleged role in deadly attacks on Christian churches in the capital on Christmas Eve 2000.

Patek was extradited from Pakistan after his January 2011 arrest in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad — the same city where Osama bin Laden was later found and killed by U.S. commandos. Days after the May 2 strike on bin Laden's compound, Indonesian authorities said Patek was trying to arrange a meeting with bin Laden when he was arrested four months earlier.

Authorities say Patek has confessed to his role in the Bali bombings.

In October 2011, he helped police re-enact what he said were his movements in the runup to those bombings.

The Bali attacks and a string of others aimed at foreigners in Indonesia over the past decade have been blamed on members of Jemaah Islamiyah — a hardline Muslim group that has advocated creating an Islamic state spanning much of Southeast Asia.