Friday, November 03, 2006

Three members of Poso Mujahidin formally charged with beheadings

Three men have been charged under Indonesia's terrorism laws for involvement in the gruesome beheadings of three young Christian high school girls in Poso. The three were this week charged with involvement in "an act of terrorism by using force that caused the loss of lives" in the October 29, 2005 killings, an official with the Attorney-General's office said.

Dossiers on the three men, Hasanuddin aka Hasan, Lilik Purnomo aka Haris, and Irwanto Irano, were submitted to the central Jakarta district court on Monday in preparation for a trial and the defendants were then charged, the official said. Achmad Michdan, a lawyer for the three men, confirmed that his clients would soon be brought to trial. The court will have to form a panel of judges before issuing a date for the trial. All three could face the death penalty for their horrific crimes. All three have previously admitted to the beheadings.

Three men belong to the Tanah Runtuh group of the Poso Mujahidin Association headed by Hasanuddin. Hasanuddin's group has ties to the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Bali bombers and many of the group attended terrorist training camps. Hasanuddin's uncle, Adnan Arsal has been a particularly vocal critic of the elite security force Brimob's presence in Poso and has lead protests asking for their removal. Adnan's pesantren (Islamic boarding school) and his group Poso Islamic Struggle Brotherhood Forum are also linked with paramilitary militants such as the Islamic Defenders Front.

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