Bali bombings militant sentenced to 15 years in jail
Indonesia, Jan 19: An Indonesian court sentenced a military commander behind the 2002 Bali bombings to 15 years in prison on Wednesday.
Aris Sumarsono, 58, whose real name is Arif Sunarso but is better known as Zulkarnaen, was in charge of a special unit of Jemaah Islamiah, an al-Qaida-inspired group behind the attack that killed 202 people.
People from 21 countries died in the blasts that ripped through Paddy's Irish Bar and the nearby Sari Club in Bali on 12 October 2002.
Zulkarnaen claimed he didn't play a role in the bombings
Zulkarnaen denied involvement in the bombings but admitted that his team carried them out.
He told the court he wasn't involved in the planning of the attack and did not even know it would happen.
The court did not believe him: "The fact that he was the head of the team and agreed on a plan in Bali... it could be considered agreeing to the plan," Alex Adam Faisal, the presiding judge, said.
The judge subsequently found him "guilty of committing terrorism and is sentenced to 15 years behind bars."
Responsible for many deaths
Zulkarnaen avoided capture for 18 years until counterterrorism police arrested him in Lampung on Sumatra island in 2020.
He was on an al-Qaida sanctions list by the United Nations Security Council for being associated with Osama bin Laden and the US offered a bounty of up to $5 million (€4.4 million) for his capture.
Zulkarnaen, is also believed to have been involved in the 2003 attack on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta that killed 12 people.