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US and Australia Disappointed Over Indonesian Cleric Sentencing

  • VOA News

The United States and Australia have expressed disappointment with the 30-month prison sentence given by an Indonesian court to a militant Muslim cleric convicted of conspiracy charges in the 2002 Bali bombings.

Both countries say Abu Bakar Bashir should have received a more severe jail sentence. A court in Jakarta sentenced Bashir Thursday on the conspiracy charges, but found him not guilty of ordering the attack that killed 202 people. The court also cleared him of terrorism charges, and of involvement in the Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta in 2003. Bashir's lawyers say they will appeal the verdict, which they said was politically motivated. Reuters news agency reports hundreds of Bashir supporters who were at the courthouse reacted with outrage to the verdict.

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