Prosecutors seek life-term for Bali bombing suspect
JAKARTA INDONESIAN prosecutors on Monday asked for a life sentence rather than the death penalty for Bali bombmaker Umar Patek, arguing that his remorse in the dock should spare him from a firing squad.
Patek, 45, is accused of masterminding attacks on two nightclubs on the resort island in October 2002 which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, and on churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve 2000.
When the trial started in February, prosecutors had said they would seek capital punishment for Patek, who was held last year in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, four months before Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed there.
Dubbed ‘Demolition Man’ by local media for his bombmaking prowess, Patek is charged with premeditated murder. The West Jakarta District Court is expected to deliver its verdict on June 21.
Prosecutor Bambang Suharyadi told the court that the case against Patek, the final key Bali suspect to stand trial, for premeditated murder had been shown without doubt.
But he said they were seeking a lighter sentence because the defendant had been remorseful and cooperative.
“We the prosecutors recommend the defendant Umar Patek be given a life sentence,” Suharyadi said. “He has been polite and cooperative during the trial and regretted what he has done.” The prosecutor added that Patek “will remain in prison until he dies”.
Patek on Monday repeated an apology he made earlier this month to the relatives of those killed in the Bali and church attacks.
“I regret what I have done (and) I apologise to the families of victims who died — Indonesians and foreigners,” said Patek, who wore a matching long shirt and loose trousers. “I apologise also to victims who were injured.” Terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail said it was important that Patek remain alive because of the information he could still yield.