Indonesia sentences terrorist cleric to 15 years in jail

South Jakarta court sentenced radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to 15 years in prison for helping to organize and fund a jihad training camp that brought together terrorists from almost every known Indonesian extremist group, news website reported on Thursday.

Hundreds of Bahir’s supporters gathered at the court to listen to the proceedings, carrying placards which said “Free Abu Bakar Bashir”.

Bahir, 72, was found guilty of helping to organize and fund the camp, but not guilty of planning a terrorist attack.

Bashir has been arrested on two previous occasions, the first immediately after a terrorist attack on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which killed 202 people in 2002. Prosecutors were unable to prove a string of terrorism-related allegations and reduced his four-year prison sentence to 18 months for immigration violations.

Soon after his release, he was re-arrested and sentenced to two half-year sentences for inciting the Bali blasts, a charge that was overturned on appeal. He was freed in 2006.

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