Malaysian stands trial for church bombing

A Malaysian appeared in the East Jakarta District Court for the first time in connection with the bombing of Santa Anna Catholic Church, that left one person dead and 60 others injured on July 22, 2001.

Defendant Nor Misuari, alias Nurdin, was charged with the illegal possession and use of explosives in relation to the blast in the church on Jl. Arafuru, Pondok Bambu, East Jakarta.

Prosecutor Nurlini, in her indictment, said the defendant had illegally possessed and used RDX (Research Development Formula Explosive) and TNT (Tri Nitro Toluen) in the bombing.

"The defendant violated the 1951 Emergency Law on illegal explosive possession and was involved in a bomb attack that claimed the life of an innocent victim."

If convicted, the defendant can be sentenced to death.

Nurlini said Misuari assembled the bomb and selected the church as the target while accomplice Asep, alias Abdulah, who is still at large, detonated the bomb.

In the indictment, the prosecutor recounted the Christmas bombings in 2000 involving Imam Samudra, who was sentenced to death by the Denpasar District Court last month for his role in last year's Bali bombings that left 202 people dead.

The bombings are believed to have been in revenge for the deaths of Muslims in the bloody sectarian conflict in Maluku.

The trial was adjourned to Oct. 29 to hear the defense.