3/21/07 Indonesia For full story ..(AsiaNews) Central Jakarta District Court Wednesday sentenced a Muslim militant to 20 years in prison for masterminding the gruesome murder of three Christian schoolgirls in the Central Sulawesi’s town of Poso in 2005. The two men who killed the three girls and beheaded them were sentenced instead to 14 years in prison. Given the fact that all three Islamists could have received the death sentence the courts decision is very lenient. The Indonesian press noted that the sentences corresponded to the demands of the prosecution.
Hasanuddin, who is linked to the terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah, was found guilty of organizing the crime, buying the machetes used in the beheading, and writing the notes left near the bodies threatening additional murders.
For Judge Udar Siregar, Hasanuddins actions have to be categorized as terrorist crimes which might have reignited sectarian violence in the area where a peace deal was worked out in 2001. However, tensions between the two religious communities flared up again in September 2006 when three Catholics were summarily sentenced to death and executed for an attack against an Islamic school in 2000 in which 70 people died.
Hasanuddin was captured by Indonesian security forces last January with his two accomplices, Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano. All three confessed to their role in the crime and were forgiven by the victims relatives.
Today Indonesia s National Police confirmed that it captured various Jemaah Islamiyah militants in a vast anti-terrorism operation in Yogyakarta ( Central Java ). However, it failed to arrest Abu Dujana, a leading suspect in the attack against the Australian Embassy in Jakarta , who was able to get away during the gun battle.