Indonesia prosecutors demand death for radical leader over 2016 attacks

1 / 2
Indonesian armed police escort Indonesian radical cleric Aman Abdurrahman (2nd R) as he arrives at the South Jakarta court in Jakarta on February 15, 2018. (AFP)
2 / 2
An Indonesian anti-terror policeman stands guard at the blast site following a suicide bomb outside a church in Surabaya on May 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 18 May 2018

Indonesia prosecutors demand death for radical leader over 2016 attacks

  • Aman Abdurrahman is accused of authorizing a gun and suicide attack in the capital Jakarta two years ago that left four attackers and four civilians dead
  • Abdurrahman is considered the de facto head of all Daesh supporters in Indonesia and the spiritual leader of local extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah

JAKARTA: Indonesian prosecutors Friday demanded the death penalty for a radical cleric over his role in a 2016 terror attack committed by a group linked to wave of suicide bombings this week.
Dozens of officers from an elite unit were sent to guard the trial of Aman Abdurrahman who is accused of authorizing a gun and suicide attack in the capital Jakarta two years ago that left four attackers and four civilians dead.
They were the first attacks claimed by Daesh in Southeast Asia.
Abdurrahman — considered the de facto head of all Daesh supporters in Indonesia — is also the spiritual leader of local extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
Authorities said JAD was behind the 2016 attack and suicide bombings in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya this week.
Two families — including a 9 and 12 year old girl — blew themselves up at churches and a police station, killing 13.
Authorities have not charged Abdurrahman, 46, over this week’s attacks.
On Friday, prosecutors called for Abdurrahman to be executed for the 2016 attacks.
“We demand this panel of judges sentence Aman Abdurrahman to death,” lead prosecutor Anita Dewayani, told the South Jakarta district court.
Abdurrahman is already in jail on a separate terror conviction.
The families who committed the suicide bombings knew each other and belonged to the same religious study group, along with third family linked to the attacks.
All had ties to JAD with the father of the church suicide bombers identified as a local leader in the group.


Furore after Indian police shoot gangster dead

Updated 39 min 52 sec ago

Furore after Indian police shoot gangster dead

  • Officials said Dubey was shot as he tried to escape a police vehicle while being driven to his home city
  • Rights lawyers alleged that police killed Dubey to prevent him revealing his connections with powerful people

LUCKNOW: Indian police shot dead one of the country's most wanted gangsters on Friday just a day after his dramatic arrest, sparking accusations of a staged extrajudicial killing.
Officials said Vikas Dubey, detained for the killing of eight police officers, was shot as he tried to escape a police vehicle while being driven to his home city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Within hours of TV stations carrying images of his bloodstained body lying in a hospital, rights lawyers and activists alleged that police had killed Dubey to prevent him revealing his connections with powerful people.
"This is the most blatant case of extra-judicial killing. Dubey was a gangster terrorist who may have deserved to die. But (Uttar Pradesh) police have killed him to shut his mouth," Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan wrote on Twitter.
"Will we allow police to kill anyone without a court trial?" Utsav Bains, another Supreme Court lawyer, added.
Senior opposition Congress party leader Priyanka Gandhi said the people "protecting" Dubey were still free and called for a judicial probe into the killing.
Dubey, aged about 50, was accused of more than 60 murders, attempted murders and other crimes. He was said to have shot dead an Uttar Pradesh state minister inside a police station in 2001.
Despite those cases and his reputation for ruthlessness, Dubey has built considerable local political links over the past two decades.
On July 3, eight officers were gunned down when his gang staged an ambush on a police team aiming to arrest him.
A nationwide manhunt was launched, during which five of Dubey's associates -- including his bodyguard nephew -- were killed.
Police said he was tipped off about the deadly raid by local officers, some of whom have been arrested for leaking information to the gangster.
He finally gave himself up in a temple in Madhya Pradesh state on Thursday.
According to the police account, the car transporting him early Friday overturned on a wet road in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and he tried to escape.
"Dubey has been killed in an exchange of fire after he snatched the pistol of our men and tried to flee after firing at them. Four of our men are also injured," Kanpur police inspector general Mohit Agarwal told reporters.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, a senior member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, has publicly endorsed police killings as a "deterrent" to crime.
Yogi's government has pledged to root out crime from the state and his tenure has coincided with a surge in the number of criminals dying in police shootouts.
"Encounter killings" have a long history India and for decades shootouts were staged to bypass India's judicial system when police battled armed separatist movements in West Bengal, Punjab, Kashmir and elsewhere.
"History repeats," Nirjhari Sinha, a civil rights leader from western Gujarat state, wrote on Twitter in response to Dubey's death.
"Dead gangsters can't speak about their political patronage."
More recently, suspects accused of violent crimes have died in custody.
Last year, police in southern India shot dead four men accused in the horrific rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman.