Indonesia seeks death for cleric accused of ordering attacks

Evarado Alatorre
May 18, 2018

Abdurrahman, a key ideologue for Islamic State militants in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, had refused to be represented, telling the court: "I'll do my own defense".

Prosecution lawyer Anita Dewayani said Abdurrahman's acts had resulted in deaths and injuries and there was no reason for lenience.

The next hearing was set for May 25, where he and his lawyer, appointed by the court will respond to the prosecution.

Suicide bombers blew themselves up in a series of attacks on three churches Sunday in Surabaya city, the provincial capital of East Java and a suicide bombing in the police headquarters in the city on Monday. Several other children suffered serious burns from the Kalimantan attack.

It is also believed that Abdurrahman - who also goes by the name Oman Rochman - is the de facto leader of Islamic State-inspired militant group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), according to a Fairfax report.

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Reflecting a dire lack of supervision of militants in Indonesia's overcrowded prisons, Abdurrahman was able to spread radicalism and communicate with his supporters on the outside through visitors and video calls, they say.

Dozens of officers from an elite unit were sent to guard the trial of Aman Abdurrahman who is accused of authorising a gun and suicide attack in the capital Jakarta two years ago that left four attackers and four civilians dead.

Police and prosecutors have linked Abdurrahman to an alleged plot for a "Paris-style attack" targeting foreigners, and the January 2016 suicide attacks in downtown Jakarta in which eight people were killed, including four attackers.

"It is a fact that the defendent is an important figurehead (in the militant network) who has been referred to and gained respect as he dared to convey different views", said one of the five prosecutors who took turns to read their recommendation in a Jakarta court on Friday (May 18).

Abdurrahman is accused of orchestrating a spate of attacks, including suicide bombings with young children, across Indonesia.

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