Trial Starts for Suspected Bali Bomber

Posted February 13th, 2012 at 2:10 am (UTC-5)
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An Islamic militant suspected of making the bombs used in the 2002 Bali attack has gone on trial in Indonesia.

Umar Patek was charged in West Jakarta district court Monday with premeditated murder and several other counts, including bomb-making and illegal firearms possession. He also faces similar charges for his alleged role in deadly attacks on Christian churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve of 2000.

Prosecutors say they will push for the death penalty.

Patek was captured in January of last year in the same Pakistani town where U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in May.

Patek has confessed to the Bali bombings. In October, he helped police re-enact what he said were his movements in the run-up 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 hard-line Muslim group that has advocated creating an Islamic state spanning much of Southeast Asia.