Bali bomber sentenced to die
|BALI BOMBING SUSPECTS ON TRIAL|
- Prosecutors say he attended planning meetings, bought bomb-making chemicals and the van used the carry the largest bomb.
- Accused of planning and executing the attacks.
Mukhlas (Ali Ghufron)
- Accused of being in charge of the bombings.
- Said to be the operational chief of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).
DENPASAR, Indonesia (CNN) -- The first defendant to stand trial in connection with last October's Bali nightclub bombings has been found guilty by a court on the island and sentenced to death.
Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, dubbed the "smiling bomber" for his defiant approach to police and the court system, had admitted taking part in the attacks that killed 202 people.
"The accused is found guilty in a legal and convincing manner of carrying out an act of terrorism," said chief judge I Made Karna.
After the verdict was read, Amrozi pumped his fist into the air, smiled and offered two thumbs up to court spectators -- many of them survivors of the blasts or relatives of the victims. (Bali's smiling bomber)
During the trial he told the court he was proud of what he had done, saying at one time he welcomed the death penalty and that executing him would turn him into a martyr.
Any execution is unlikely to take place before all of the Bali accused are put through the judicial process, enabling him to take the witness stand in other trials.
Hundreds of spectators inside the courtroom and listening to proceedings on loudspeakers on the streets outside cheered as the verdict and sentence was announced.
Amrozi's lawyers have said they will file appeal proceedings on Friday.
Shortly after his arrest in November last year, the 41-year-old mechanic confessed to buying the van and chemicals to make the deadliest bomb used in the attack.
The bomb exploded on the night of October 12 outside the packed Sari Club in the popular resort town of Kuta.
Before delivering their verdict the panel of five judges ran through more than 300 pages of evidence, outlining in meticulous detail the testimony of more than 60 prosecution witnesses and the case against the Amrozi.
Amrozi himself remained calm and sat largely motionless on a swivel chair at the center of the courthouse.
His defense team had been trying to prove that Amrozi wasn't one of the bombing planners.
Much has been riding on the verdict, with many observers seeing it as a key test of Indonesia's resolve in fighting terrorism and of the country's law enforcement system.
There are fears Tuesday's bomb blast outside a Jakarta hotel may have been linked to his sentencing or that reprisal terror attacks may be launched in the wake of the verdict.
Investigators in Bali said the first blast, at Paddy's pub, was set off by a bomb containing no more than one kilogram of TNT. The second, much deadlier, explosion at Sari's was caused by 50-150 kg of ammonium nitrate.
The double bombing was the world's worst terrorist attack since the September 11, 2001 strikes against New York and Washington.
Most of those killed in Bali were tourists, including 88 Australians.
A separate bomb placed outside the U.S. consulate office on the island caused no casualties.
Amrozi said his motive for taking part in the attacks was a jihad or holy war against Westerners to avenge the repression of Muslims around the world.
Indonesian police say the planning and funding for the blasts came from the Islamic Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group, which has been linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
Amrozi himself denied being a member of JI.
Another 32 people also face trial over the attacks -- including the alleged ringleader of the plot, Imam Samudra, and two of Amrozi's older brothers -- suspected bomb-making expert Ali Imron, and Mukhlas, a known leader in JI.
-- CNN Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa contributed to this report