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 Abu Bakar Ba’asyir not involved in military training in Aceh: Witness

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BerichtOnderwerp: Abu Bakar Ba’asyir not involved in military training in Aceh: Witness    di 26 jan 2016 - 21:56




The Jakarta Post, January 27 2016


Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Habib Riziek said terrorist convict Abu Bakar Ba’asyir was not involved in any military training in Aceh Besar, as had been accused.

Riziek admitted that Ba’asyir had been in contact with him, as FPI leader, but that it had been in order to channel humanitarian funds.

“However, overall, the funds given by Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir were directed to fulfil the interests of Muslim people, including to help Muslims in Palestine, who are suffering amid misery and oppression,” said Riziek, in his testimony at the Cilacap District Court on Tuesday as a witness for the firebrand Muslim cleric in Ba’asyir’s second case review (PK) hearing regarding his alleged terrorism case.

Riziek further said that it was a big mistake to say that Ba’asyir had been involved with armed training in Aceh.

“He agreed that all Muslims needed to undergo physical exercises and I myself also agreed with that. However, such physical exercises are for the physical strength of the Muslim people, not for terrorism,” said Riziek. He then asked the court’s judge panel to release Ba’asyir, saying that the court had made a mistake sentencing the cleric to 15 years in prison.

Riziek was one of five witnesses presented by the Muslim Lawyer team. The four other witnesses were Jose Rizal, a physician, and three terrorist convicts currently imprisoned in Nusakambangan Prison, namely Abdullah Sonata aka Arman Kristianto, Qomaruddin aka Abu Musa aka Mustaqim aka Abu Yusuf aka Hafshoh and Joko Sulistyo aka Zainudin.

In his testimony, Qomaruddin claimed that he had been the field coordinator of the armed military training on the Junto trans-highway in Aceh Besar.

“I was ordered by Dulmatin to lead the combat training, but I didn’t know where the money came from and who supplied the weapons. All I knew was that both the money and weapons were from Dulmatin,” Qomaruddin told the judge panel. His testimony was confirmed by two other witnesses, also terrorist convicts at Nusakambangan.

Dulmatin is the terrorist suspected behind the 2002 Bali bombings.

“I had known Ustadz Abu Bakar Ba’asyir as a cleric, who was firm and consistent in voicing the truth. That’s why I sent a letter to him, asking for a blessing from him, because I felt pressured at that time,” said Qomaruddin, telling the judge panel about his associations with Ba’asyir.

“I didn’t know whether or not he had given us money [for the military training],” he went on.

Around 300 Riziek supporters attended the hearing, which began at 9 a.m and lasted through until the afternoon. Most of the supporters, who wore FPI tshirts, followed the trial from outside the building due to the limited capacity of the hearing room.

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar [God is great],” the crowd shouted repeatedly throughout the hearing. They also were reported to have shouted harsh words at the panel of judges.

Cilacap Police chief Adj Sr Comr Ulung Sampurna Jaya said that around 1,600 police officers, including 500 Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel, had been dispatched to secure the trial.

“We don’t want to take any risks. Apart from Cilacap, we also had support from both the Banyumas and Central Java Police Brimob units,” he told thejakartapost.com.




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