06/21/2012 Indonesia (Voice of America) – An Indonesian court has sentenced bomb maker Umar Patek to 20 years in prison. The last of the Bali bombers to face trial, the ruling brings a decade-long investigation to a close.
West Jakarta District Court today found Umar Patek guilty of mixing the 700-kilogram bomb that decimated two Bali nightclubs in 2002.
The attack killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
Sentenced to 20 years in prison, the 45-year-old al-Qaida-linked bomb maker was also charged for his role in the bombing of several churches in Jakarta in the year 2000.
Prosecutors had asked the court that Patek serve a life sentence.
A member of the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah and one of Indonesia’s first-generation jihadists, Patek is well known among Islamic extremists.
But throughout the trial, Patek had claimed that he only played a minor role in the fatal Bali bombing.
Analysts said that judges gave Patek a more lenient sentence than the other Bali bombers because he cooperated with police and was publicly remorseful, including publicly apologizing to the victims’ families.
Speaking before the sentencing Thursday, terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail said there was a high probability of a trade off.
“I think there is a deal between him and the police, Patek might say I will leak you a lot of information about my networks in Southeast Asia or on the region, but make sure I will get less than 20 years,” said Noor Huda Ismail. “Because once you get the 20 years you get the cut.”
Patek is the last major Indonesian terrorist to face court.
Despite a $1 million bounty on his head, the 45-year-old had been on the run for nine years until he was extradited from Pakistan last January.
He was discovered in Abbottabad, the same town where Osama bin Laden was killed several months later.