Indonesia court rejects Bali bombers' final appeal

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JAKARTA, Sep 24 (Reuters) Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected final appeals by two of the Bali bombers, a court official said today, which means they are likely to face the firing squad for killing more than 200 people on the resort island.

The court had already thrown out a similar appeal filed by a third Islamic militant sentenced to death for the October 12, 2002 bombings that killed foreign tourists and Indonesians.

The three men -- Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Mukhlas, who is also known as Ali Gufron -- are now expected to face execution by firing squad unless President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pardons them, a move which is considered unlikely given the intense international interest in Indonesia's efforts to tackle terrorism.

Lawyers for the three Muslim militants had sought a review of their case, arguing that the Constitutional Court had in 2004 ruled that anti-terrorism laws could not be applied retrospectively.

''The requests for a review of cases in respect of Imam Samudra and Mukhlas have been rejected,'' court spokesman Nurhadi told Reuters today.

The three men were tried under anti-terrorism laws introduced after the bombings.

In a statement read out by their lawyers, they have already said they would not seek a presidential pardon, adding that if they were executed, their blood would ''become the light for the faithful ones and burning hell fire for the infidels and hypocrites''.

The bombings in Bali and other attacks that have hit Indonesia in recent years have been blamed on the Southeast Asian Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah.

Indonesia last year put off a plan to execute the three men because lawyers said that not all legal avenues had been exhausted, although courts at various levels had dismissed their appeals.

Reuters JK DB1909

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