10-year jail term sought for Jakarta militant

Prosecutors want a senior Indonesian militant, who helped fund, recruit and supply weapons for the Jan 14 terror attack in Jakarta, to be jailed for no less than 10 years.

To justify the sentence, they told an East Jakarta district court in their submissions on Wednesday that the militant known as Abu Gar had played a major role in supporting the strike, which led to the deaths of eight people, including the four perpetrators.

"As such, we apply to the judges to declare Abu Gar guilty under (Indonesia's) anti-terror laws... and sentence him to 10 years in prison," said the prosecution.

The brazen attack in the heart of the capital was mounted by the "Jakarta Four" - Sunakim alias Afif, Muhammad Ali, Dian Juni Kurniadi and Ahmad Muhazin. It was revealed in earlier court hearings that the four men and Abu Gar belonged to the same domestic militant network that operated in West and Central Java.

Prosecutors said police investigations indicated that the 43-year- old had recruited Ali to carry out a suicide bombing, and acquired the pistols found on Ali and Sunakim after they died at the scene.

Abu Gar, whose real name is Saiful Muhtorir, is a veteran militant who had taken part in other conflicts in Indonesia, the court heard. Originally from Cilacap in Central Java, he had travelled to Ambon, in Maluku province, some time after 1999 to fight in a sectarian conflict against Christians.

Like the "Jakarta Four", Abu Gar is a follower of radical ideologue Aman Abdurrahman, who he joined some time in 2003 or 2004.

The court heard that in November last year, Aman - who was serving time in Nusakambangan prison - gave Abu Gar an order, purportedly from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, to carry out a strike in Indonesia similar to the Paris attacks. Details of the plot were later communicated to Abu Gar by Aman's cellmate.

Prosecutors also said there was evidence that Abu Gar had channelled at least 70 million rupiah (S$7,500) purportedly from ISIS to finance the attack. The funds were allegedly transferred to two bank accounts in Indonesia and Abu Gar was given instructions to withdraw the cash from those accounts using ATM cards given to him by another militant.

Lawyer Nurlan, who is representing Abu Gar, told The Straits Times yesterday that he will argue against the 10-year jail term next Wednesday when the case resumes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2016, with the headline '10-year jail term sought for Jakarta militant'. Subscribe