The Jakarta Post
Terrorism convict Abu Bakar Ba'asyir has said it will not be a problem for him to receive a prison sentence as long as his trial is fair.
"One thing that I ask from this court is, it can be honest in judging my guilt," the firebrand Muslim cleric said as quoted by Antara during his follow-up second case review hearing at Cilacap District Court, Central Java, on Tuesday.
During the hearing, the panel of judges led by Nyoto Hindaryanto, with Zulkarnaen and Akhmad Budiman, drew a conclusion on Ba'asyir's case. The examination report (BAP) of the Ba'asyir case was also signed off at the hearing.
Before the signing of the report, one of Ba'asyir's lawyers, Achmad Michdan, asked the panel of judges to allow the terror convict to convey the chronological conclusion of his case.
In his conclusion, Ba'asyir said that in Islam, armed exercises were compulsory because along with one of God's orders, all Muslims must prepare themselves to defend Islam.
The spiritual leader of the region's extremist network said enemies of Islam had attacked Muslim people using weapons; thus, it would not be enough for them to face the attacks by only using religious proselytizing.
"They [Islam's enemies] must be confronted with weapons. Therefore, in Islam, weapons training is allowed but these are not aimed at killing people but in self-defence. So, killing people must be avoided as much as possible," said Ba'asyir.
The cleric said based on religious principles, weapons training conducted in mountainous areas of Aceh was part of sharia (Islamic law). He further claimed that initially, he was not aware of the training in Aceh and only found out about it from media reports.
After examining the training conducted in Aceh, Ba'asyir said he concluded that those activities were part of sharia. As a Muslim, the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI) leader said, he felt that he had an obligation to support the activities as much as he could.
"Because my physical condition was already weak, I could not give any support except giving financial aid to the best of my ability, as I had provided support to the Islamic struggle in Palestine via the Islam Defenders Front [FPI] and the MER-C [Medical Emergency Rescue Committee]," said Ba'asyir.
Ba'asyir said his willingness to help support weapons training in Aceh was because it was compulsory for him as a Muslim to help his Muslim sisters and brothers. He claimed that in doing so, he initially faced a dilemma, namely to follow God's orders or to abide with the government's rules, which prohibited such training.
"Weapons training is prohibited by the government because it doesn't permit the use of weapons," he said. The problem was, he said, that he would face God's sanctions hereafter if he violated His order to help other Muslims
"What I want is that, this court should be fair. My role in helping the training [in Aceh] was only giving them money. I didn't know anything about weapons, I didn't train them, let alone mastermind the exercises," said Ba'asyir.
Ba'asyir said that based on government regulations, he was guilty because he had supported illegal military exercises; but, based on Islamic rules, he was not guilty because he just carried out God's orders. Therefore, he wanted the court to be fair in judging his guilt.
"This is what I need to explain. Hopefully, with this statement, the court can judge my case honestly, although at the end, it has to impose a sentence on me," he added.
Presiding judge Nyoto said that with Ba'asyir's chronological conclusion, the terror convict's second case review was closed. Ba'asyir's document would be sent to the South Jakarta District Court, which would send the case to the Supreme Court. (ebf)
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