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Embassy Bombing Suspect To Go On Trial
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20/03/2005



An Indonesian militant accused of helping move and conceal explosives used in the bombing of Australia's Jakarta embassy will go on trial on Monday and faces the death penalty if convicted.

Agus Ahmad helped one of the core bombers, Rois, scout for safe houses and transported around 70kg of high-explosive TNT used in the deadly blast, according to a police indictment.

After a wave of militant arrests in mid-July last year near the central Java city of Solo forced attack masterminds Dr Azahari Husin and Noordin Top to shift their base of operations, Agus used a Daihatsu van to move the explosives to his own house in Cianjur, near Jakarta.

The suicide blast two months later on September 9 killed 11 people including the bomber, and injured more than 200.

The one-tonne bomb, which was packed into a small delivery van, also ripped open the blast-proof fence at the front of the heavily-fortified mission and did extensive damage to the front of the building, which has still not reopened to the public six months later.

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AdvertisementAgus is the second of the bombers to go on trial under tough anti-terrorism laws enacted after the 2002 Bali bombings

Irun Hidayat was last week accused of "planning or motivating" other people to carry out acts of terrorism as his trial got underway in the South Jakarta district court.

Chief prosecutor Sodikin said Hidayat, 33, had motivated suicide bomber Heri Kurniawan - alias Heri Golun - to carry out the bombing.

Prosecutors also forwarded the file on Rois to the court, clearing the way for Dr Azahari's right-hand man and attack coordinator to go on trail in the next few weeks.

Azahari and Noordin - the master bombmakers and suicide bomb recruiters of the Jemaah Islamiah terror network - are still on the run, despite a massive police manhunt across Indonesia.

Like Irun, Agus is also charged with helping plan or carry out terror attacks, as well as "withholding information about a terrorist action" under multilayer laws.

More than 20 people have so far been detained in connection with the embassy bombing, which has seen thousands of police deployed across the country amid fears of further attacks on western targets.

SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald