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Bashir Now Formally Charged in Bali Bombings

Moslem Cleric May Go To Trial in Less Than One Month.

(10/18/2004) Indonesia's militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), has been named in a formal indictment related to the Bali bombing of October 12, 2002, and the Jakarta Marriot bomb attack of August 2003.

These two terrorist incidents claimed a combined 214 lives and maimed hundreds of others. The 65-page indictment filed by State prosecutors in Jakarta on Friday, October 15, 2004, contain main charges of inciting or ordering acts of terror and also alledged ownership of explosives. If convicted of these crimes the 66 year-old Bashir could be imprisoned for 20 years or face a firing squad.

Bashir, who was in police custody when the Marriott bomb attack ocurred, insists he is innocent of all charges filed against him.

Prosecutors have indicated they are ready to go to trial in as little as two week's time from the date of the October 15, 2004, indictment.

To date, 32 people have been brought to trial in connection with the Bali bombing incident.