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Indonesian Supreme Court Says Bali Bombers Cannot Appeal Execution

By Nancy-Amelia Collins
03 November 2008

The Indonesian Supreme Court turned down a last-minute appeal filed by the families of the three men waiting to be executed for the 2002 terrorist bombings on the resort island, Bali. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins in Jakarta has more.

A Supreme Court Judge said Monday Amrozi Nurhasyim, Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudra have exhausted all legal options to prevent their execution.

The three Islamic militants - all members of the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah - were convicted five years ago for planning and carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings which claimed the lives of 202 people, the majority of them foreign tourists.

A lawyer for the three men, Adnan Wirawan, says the families of the militants made the appeal in Denpasar, the capital of Bali, as a last ditch attempt to delay the executions.

"They went to Denpasar court without our representation, so they lodged on their own behalf using the right which is available in the procedural law," said Adnan. "I think that's part of the plan to halt the process for a while."

The attorney general's office has announced the executions will take place during the beginning of November and speculation is high the executions are imminent.

Indonesia does not announce the exact dates of executions, which are usually carried out late at night in a remote spot by firing squad.

The three men have never expressed any remorse for their actions, except that Muslims were also killed in the attacks, and have often said they welcome dying a "martyr's" death.

Security remains high around oil facilities, foreign embassies, malls and tourist destinations, amid concerns of revenge attacks by Jemaah Islamiyah. However, most analysts agree it is unlikely it will be capable of carrying out any major attacks, because the group has been severely weakened.

But terrorism expert and author on Jemaah Islamyah Ken Conboy says announcing that the executions would take place in early November only increases the likelihood of reprisals.

"I think by announcing a date ahead of time they increase the likelihood that you will get reprisals - because they can focus on a date, they can actually focus on a date - so I think you're increasing the chances of a reprisal by announcing that date," said Conboy. "Even if it's ballpark, you increase the chances of a reprisal."

The vast majority of Indonesians have no sympathy for the Bali bombers and are opposed to terrorism.

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