Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Indonesia News  >>   Security  >>   Indo legal system terrorism weak point
NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     28 October  2011

Indo legal system terrorism weak point

Indonesia’s legal system is the “weakest link” in the nation’s fight against terrorism, analysts said after a court slashed the jail term of the country’s slipperiest terror convict.

A district court in June sentenced radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to 15 years in prison for deliberately inciting terrorism and funding a new terror cell allegedly planning deadly attacks on Westerners and politicians.

The Jakarta High Court disclosed on Wednesday that it had overturned the conviction one week earlier and found Bashir, 73, guilty of a similar but less serious offence, cutting his sentence to nine years.

Bashir was once convicted of conspiracy in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, but was cleared on appeal, and has several times avoided guilty verdicts or won slap-on-the-wrist punishments or sentence reductions.

“Our legal system is the weakest link in this fight,” terror analyst Noor Huda Ismail said. “Police have done quite a good job in arresting suspects and finding terrorists in raids. But once it gets to the courts, there are a lot of problems prosecuting a case.”

Indonesia’s anti-terror police unit, Detachment 88, has successfully weakened large extremist networks, killing some of south-east Asia’s most notorious terrorists in bloody raids.

But Bashir has been particularly difficult to pin down because of legal rules, such as a ban on phone-tapped conversations as evidence in terror trials -- although a new law will give authorities more power to bug communications.

“The prosecutors had phone conversations in which Bashir admitted he had funded the terror cell, but it couldn’t be used as evidence. So I think this new law will make a big difference, as long as it’s not abused,” Ismail said.

Some key witnesses in Bashir’s case refused to testify in court, and giving evidence via video conference made effective examination difficult, Ismail added.

Finding evidence against Bashir was challenging as the cleric allegedly only incited acts of terror and did not get involved in actual operations, political analyst at the University of Indonesia Andi Widjajanto said.

“Under terror laws, you either have to be caught red-handed, or have at least three witnesses give evidence. There must also be either audio, video or documented evidence,” he said.

“That’s why the court for the third time has failed to prove Bashir is directly involved in terrorism.”

The high court admitted that it had showed clemency to the elderly cleric.

“We also reduced the sentence as an act of humanity for this old man,” court spokesman Ahmad Sobari told AFP. “The judges consider the nine-year sentence as long enough.”

Nonetheless Greg Fealy, an Indonesian terror specialist at the Australian national University, pointed out that many convicted terrorists have received lengthy sentences in recent years.

“In most cases, the convicted terrorist has got around six to 10 years in prison, and that’s been very consistent. In Bashir’s case, there was strong evidence against him, so 15 years seemed fair and proportional,” Fealy said.

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
  Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below




1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Today's  Stories    28  October  2011 Subsribe Now !
• Indo legal system terrorism weak point   Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Corruption concerns grow in Indonesia  Asean Affairs Premium

• VietNam, Laos discuss increased cooperation

Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry

• Malaysian schools to get wired
• International sanctions in Singapore
• Japanese experts weigh in on Thai flood
• Thai businesses cite information gap

• Vietnam targets inflation


Asean Analysis              28  October  2011

Advertise Your Brand
• Asean Analysis-October 28 Sponsor Our Events

Asean Stock Watch      28  October  2011

• Asean Stock Watch-October 28 p

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand