08/21/2006, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Fate of three Catholics sentenced to death to be decided tomorrow

by Benteng Reges
Authorities will set new execution day for Tibo and his two comrades. Islamic terrorists involved in Bali bombing will not instead be executed pending a final appeal to the Supreme Court.

Palu (AsiaNews) – Indonesian authorities have postponed the execution of three terrorists involved in the 2002 Bali bombing but are studying the possible date for that of three Catholics whose rendezvous with death was deferred at the last minute on August 12 in Palu, Central Sulawesi, this according to I Wayan Pasek Suartha, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.

Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra were expected to stand in front of the firing squad tomorrow August 22, but were given a reprieve after they authorised their lawyers to make an appeal to the Supreme Court to review their cases.

Up until mid-July the terrorists had always refused to save themselves through legal channels claiming they were only bound by divine, not human law.

The three men are the main culprits in the bombings that on October 12, 2002, killed 202 people in Bali. All three confessed their involvement in the attacks.

No news however on the fate of Fabianus Tibo, Domingus "Domi" da Silva and Marinus Riwu who are expected to be executed for their involvement in the 2000 sectarian violence in Poso. 

The spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said that the chief of police and the head of the Office for Central Sulawesi will meet behind close doors to discuss when the execution should take place. Delayed on August 12, it was expected that the sentence would be carried out yesterday, but the families of the three men were not informed nor have the proper authorities taken any step. Suartha reiterated that "everything is in the hands of the Attorney General for Central Sulawesi".

In the last week the case of Tibo and his two comrades has drawn the attention of international public opinion and divided that of Indonesia.

Inside the largest Muslim countries radical Islamic groups have called on the authorities to execute without hesitation the three Catholics. Jimly Ashidiqqie, head of Indonesia's Constitutional Court, for example, said that plans to execute Tibo should not be made public to prevent any further delays.

Meanwhile fears about greater sectarian strife are growing for what will happen after the six men are executed.

More and more people are becoming convinced that the death penalty imposed on Tibo, da Silva and Riwu was politically motivated.

At midnight on Saturday a bomb exploded in a Poso café without causing any injuries. Local police believe that re-igniting sectarian hatred between local Muslim and Christians was among its goals.

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