07/05/2006, 00.00
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Bali 2002 terrorists no longer wish to die: they want to reopen their case

Two out of the three men condemned to death for the island bombing want a legal review of their case while the authorities sort out the final details for their execution, expected for three years. So far, they were ready to die because they respected "the law of God, not of man".

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Two out of three terrorists sentenced to death for the Bali bombings in 2002 have decided to reopen their case. Their decision comes as the Indonesian authorities have announced their imminent execution. The three men had formerly refused to seek salvation through legal channels, saying they would only submit to divine, not human, law.

In 2003, the district Court of Denpasar handed down the death penalty to Amrozi and Imam Samudra. They were involved in the attacks on the famous island that cost 202 people – mostly foreign tourists – their lives.  Muhklas was sentenced together with them for the same crime. The three men – detained in the prison of Nusakambangan, central Java – were judged under anti-terrorism laws passed in the country after the 2002 bombings. It has been decided that the new laws do not apply retrospectively and the two men's lawyers say they will use this information to call for a judicial review.

Only two days ago, the attorney general, Abdul Rahman Saleh, issued a statement announcing that the execution of the three Muslims would take place on an unspecified date and on the island of Nusakambangan instead of Bali – "too crowded and populated" – as requested by the supporters of Amrozi, Samudra and Muhklas. He added: "The execution will be postponed if the three convicts decide to ask for a review of their case or for a pardon."

The three convicts have always refused to appeal to the president for a pardon. Previously, one of their lawyers said that for his clients, this would have meant "surrendering to human law". Amrozi and the others have repeated several times over that they want to be judged only God's law.

According to the Muslim Lawyers Team (TPN) that is defending the three men, the decision of the government to hurry the execution was taken to "please foreign countries after the release of Abu Bakar Baasyir", a religious leader who was an "accomplice" in the same crimes back in 2002. Achmad Michdan, a TPM lawyer, added: "We are preparing the necessary papers to present a request and we will do everything possible so that the trial for a judical review will take place in a neutral area outside Bali." The lawyer suggested Jakarta or Cilacap.

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