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Bali Bombers Granted Last-Minute Appeal of Their Death Sentences

Bali Courts Expected to Hear Appeal Before the End of February 2008.

(3/28/2008) An 11th hour decision by the Indonesian Supreme Court to allow an extraordinary appeal by three death-row Bali bombers has once again delayed their execution and paved the way for a possible revocation of their conviction for killing 202 people in Bali on October 2002.



The Supreme Court has ordered the Denpasar District Court to review the conviction of Amrozi (43), Iman Samudra (37) and Ali Gufron (47), now sitting on death row. The appeal claims that the three's conviction was invalid by virtue of the retrospective application of the national terrorist law which was introduced after the date of the commission of the crime for which they were charged.

This is the second appeal of their conviction following the denial of an initial appeal in late 2007, widely thought to be final legal recourse available to the three.

If the Court accepts the arguments of the Bali Bomber's Defense attorneys, the men could eventually be freed on a legal technicality, despite their boastful admission they played a leading role in the terrorist bombing incident. Any decision to now free the men would also mean the original prosecutors in the case erred fundamentally in charging the three under the new-found terrorism act instead of with the more conventional indictment for mass homicide.

Denpasar Court officials have indicated that the appeal for the three bombers will be heard by the Denpasar District Court before the end of February 2008.

The three bombers continue to be held on death row at Indonesia's notorious penal facility on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java, after being evacuated from Bali's Kerobokan prison in late 2005