15 Jun '11, 10pm

Indonesia braces for Bashir verdict

JAKARTA: The Indonesian capital Jakarta was on high alert on Thursday with a court in the trial of Abu Bakar Bashir expected to deliver its verdict on terrorism charges against the radical cleric. Police on Wednesday tightened security at shopping centres across the sprawling city and deployed extra personnel following threats warning of "bomb blasts in a number of places". More than 3,000 police and soldiers backed by armoured vehicles and several snipers will also guard the South Jakarta district court as the closely watched trial reaches its conclusion. Bashir, 72, is accused of providing funding of more than $62,000 to a terrorist group dubbed Al-Qaeda in Aceh that was plotting attacks in Indonesia. Prosecutors have sought a maximum life sentence. He is seen as a spiritual leader of Southeast Asian militants, but he denies any role in terrorist activity. Police were ta...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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