- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2003

BALI, Indonesia — The man who was the “intellectual mastermind” of last year’s Bali nightclub bombings was sentenced yesterday to face a firing squad after being found guilty of the attacks that killed 202 persons, mostly foreign tourists.

As the verdict was read by Judge Wayan Sugawa, Samudra, who uses only one name, shouted “God is great”.

“Go to hell, you infidels,” Samudra shouted in English, pumping his fist in the air as he was led out of the Indonesian courtroom.

It was the second death sentence handed out for the Oct. 12 bombings on the resort island of Bali — the single deadliest terrorist strike since the September 11 attacks in the United States.

Samudra, 33, has said he wants to die as a martyr, but the Afghan-trained fighter denies he commanded the group of militants who carried out the twin blasts. Almost half the bombing victims were Australian tourists, and seven were from the United States.

“Imam Samudra has been clearly proven to have planned a terrorist act, and we hand down the sentence of death,” said Judge Sugawa, one of the five judges who presided at the trial.

Judge Ifa Sudewi called Samudra “the intellectual mastermind behind the Bali bomb explosions.”

Samudra’s lawyers said they would appeal the sentence.

“There was no justice in this case. He should not have gotten the death sentence,” attorney Qadar Faisal said.

Samudra is the second of 30 suspects arrested after the Bali attacks to be sentenced to death — conspirator Amrozi bin Nurhasyim was condemned last month.

Death sentences in Indonesia are rare, but are allowed under a new antiterror law adopted after the Bali attack. They are carried out by a firing squad of 15 paramilitary policemen.

In Australia, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said his government welcomed the verdict because it showed Indonesia’s determination to pursue terrorists.

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