JAKARTA • Seven Indonesians have been jailed for between three and five years for their involvement with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, in a case being watched closely as a gauge to how tough the Indonesian judiciary will be when sentencing ISIS supporters.
Court officials said four of the men on trial had travelled to Syria to undertake military training with ISIS, while the three other culprits helped purchase tickets and recruited people to join the group.
"Indonesians who departed for Syria and supported ISIS should be considered to have conducted terrorism acts," Mr Mochammad Arifin, a presiding judge over several of the cases, said yesterday.
"What was proven was the defendants' intent to conspire in, assist and prepare terrorism-related activities," said another presiding judge Syahlan, who goes by only one name, adding that it was not necessary to prove they had actually carried out any attacks.
The men were jailed on charges ranging from training with a military camp in Syria to propagating extremist ideology and raising funds to help Indonesians travel to the Middle East to join ISIS also known as Islamic State.
Prosecutors had asked for up to eight years' jail for the suspects.
Tuah Febriwansyah alias Muhammad Fachry, who co-founded a website that promoted news and videos of ISIS, including those showing a series of brutal attacks around the world and Indonesian ISIS members in Syria, received the heaviest sentence of five years' jail.
The website was shut down by the Indonesian government after his arrest in 2014.
Febriwansyah had also told the court that he had known one of the culprits in last month's gun-and-bomb attacks in Jakarta that killed four civilians.
He had also actively participated in ISIS activities in Indonesia, including the declaration of the terror organisation in the capital in 2013.
In March 2014, Febriwansyah reportedly participated in a rally at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in Jakarta, where he declared his support for ISIS.
Another man, Helmi Muhammad Alamudi alias Abu Roya, was jailed for 3 1/2 years after being convicted of conspiring to facilitate and finance a terrorism act. The court said he had raised more than 257 million rupiah (S$26,500) to take people to Syria. He also worked as a guard in an ISIS camp in Syria for two weeks.
A 33-year-old meatball seller, Ahmad Junaedi, who claimed he was lured to join ISIS by the promise of a large payment, will serve three years behind bars. Ahmad spent 24 days in Syria, where he participated in military training using AK-47s and learnt how to assemble weapons.
He claimed he returned home because he felt cheated over a large payment which was promised by Abu Jandal, one of the Indonesian ISIS leaders in Syria.
None of the convicts will appeal the verdicts.
Meanwhile, radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir appeared in court yesterday, the last day of his application for a judicial review into his 15-year sentence for supporting a training camp for militants in Aceh.
The Jemaah Islamiah spiritual leader told the court in Cilacap, central Java, that he had not backed the camp financially, but merely provided assistance, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I am guilty in the eyes of the government but I am innocent in the eyes of Islam," the paper quoted the 77-year-old as saying.
Bashir's judicial review will now go to the Supreme Court, which will decide whether to allow it. A prior conviction over the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202, was quashed.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA