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Rediff.com  » News » Indonesian cleric gets 4 years in jail

Indonesian cleric gets 4 years in jail

Last updated on: September 02, 2003 20:39 IST

A court in Jakarta on Tuesday sentenced to four years in prison cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, 64, for being involved in a plot to topple the Indonesian government.

However, passing its verdict in the cleric's treason trial, the court ruled there was no evidence Ba'asyir was the leader of that plot or the leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah, a radical outfit said to have carried out, among other attacks, the Bali bombings.

The sentence is considerably less than the 15 years prosecutors had sought during the trial.

After working through more than 200 pages of evidence, chief judge Muhammad Saleh said Ba'asyir was guilty of taking part in subversion and forgery.

"In order that the defendant does not repeat his mistakeĀ… he must be punished," Saleh said. "We, the judges, hand down a sentence of four years in prison."

Ba'asyir said he planned to appeal against the verdict.

He had been accused of trying to overthrow the government through a series of terrorist acts, including a plot to assassinate Indonesian's current President Megawati Sukarnoputri when she held the post of vice-president.

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