While I’m pleased that this despicable man who was largely responsible for the Bali bombings has been sent to jail , I’m not pleased with the sentence. 15 years, as far as I’m concerned, is too lenient, and just another sign of the apparent lack of consistency in Indonesia’s legal system.
AN Indonesian court has jailed radical Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir for 15 years for funding a terrorist group that was planning attacks against Westerners and political leaders.
The 72-year-old preacher showed little emotion as judge Herri Swantoro read out the guilty verdict and sentence at the end of a four-month trial in the South Jakarta district court.
Bashir was found guilty of using violence or the threat of violence to incite terrorism, despite the prosecution weeks ago having conceded that they would not be able to prove all elements of that charge.
The prosecution had been seeking a life sentence in relation to charges of funding terrorism, stemming from the discovery last year of a paramilitary camp in Aceh.
The former spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings, denied the charges.
(h/t The staff at The Australian who reworked AAP and AP copy)
I go one step further than the prosecution, I wanted the death penalty. I would have settled for life, but considering that this bloke won’t even take responsibility for his actions, I don’t see how he could ever be fit to be a part of society ever again. I’m also not convinced that 15 years is actually 15 years.
Over in Indonesia they have this bizarre practice where the President knocks time off the sentences of prisoners as part of a national day of celebration. It’s crazy, but it’s what they do. Schapelle Corby (who was sentenced to 20 years for a crime of drug importation which was surely a less serious crime than Abu Bakar Bashir’s deeds, and I think her sentence was about right, so Bashir’s sentence should be much harsher) has received almost a year and a half off her sentence in the six years that she has been in jail, and she will probably receive more. Bashir will probably get a similar treatment.
This means that, at the latest, Bashir will get out when he is 87-years-old, and will likely get out a few years earlier assuming that he lives that long. If he ever gets out, he will want revenge and he will be more powerful and influential in terrorist circles than ever before. Surely the judges know this. The whole legal system over in Indonesia seems to be an inconsistent shambles and bizarrely lenient decisions like this one do it no favours. They do, however, make me understand where Malcolm T. Elliott was coming from back in 2005 when he referred to the judges at Schapelle Corby’s trial as “three wise monkeys “:
And then we get this joke of a trial, and it’s nothing more than a joke. An absolute joke the way they sit there. And they do look like the three wise monkeys, I’ll say it. They don’t speak English, they read books, they don’t listen to her. They show us absolutely no respect those judges.
And he is right, bizarre and inconsistent decisions like the one we saw today prove that the Indonesian judges have zero respect for Australia, and western countries in general. A man who wants to destroy the western world gets off lightly for a heinous crime which amounted to the murder of many many people including a substantial number of Indonesians…I guess they were acceptable losses in the slaughter of Australians by the logic of Indonesian judges.
It’s a clear thumbing of their nose at Australia. Abu Bakar Bashir should not get out, ever, period!