Batam rocket plot witness identifies alleged ringleader

Gigih (in grey shirt) listening as Leonardo identified him as as the alleged leader of the Batam terrorist cell behind the foiled rocket attack on Marina Bay.
Gigih (in grey shirt) listening as Leonardo identified him as as the alleged leader of the Batam terrorist cell behind the foiled rocket attack on Marina Bay.ST PHOTO: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA

A key witness in the case against the Batam terror cell accused of plotting a rocket attack on Marina Bay has identified Gigih Rahmat Dewa as the group's alleged leader.

Leonardo Hutajulu, who was testifying for the prosecution yesterday, also admitted to being a member of the cell, but denied any knowledge of the alleged rocket attack plot.

"I was invited by Hadi (Gusti Yanda) to join the Katibah Gonggong Rebus," he told the court, referring to one of the code names of the Batam-based terror cell.

When asked by prosecutors who the leader of Katibah Gonggong Rebus was, he replied, "Gigih".

Gigih and Hadi were arrested together with three other Indonesians in Batam last August in connection with the alleged plot.

Follow-up raids by the police at their homes found weapons such as a bow and arrow and an airsoft rifle - but no rocket.

Leonardo was nabbed in September. Among the items seized during his arrest were another airsoft rifle, two mobile phones, an Indonesian passport and a travel itinerary with Singapore as the destination. He admitted to pledging his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Gigih and Hadi, as well as Tarmidzi, Eka Saputra and Trio Syafidro, have been on trial since Feb 1. They were charged in court on Jan 24 in connection with the plot. They also face charges of harbouring militants and funding terror activities.

At last week's hearing, Gigih and Hadi denied having any plans to mount an attack on Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2017, with the headline 'Batam rocket plot witness identifies alleged ringleader'. Print Edition | Subscribe