An Indonesian court has found controversial Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir guilty of involvement in the Bali nightclub bombings. Judges said Bashir was not directly involved, but was part of what they called an “evil conspiracy”. His supporters were in uproar when they heard the verdict. Both Australia and the US have said they are disappointed with the two and half year sentence judges handed down, saying it is too light.
Western governments accuse Bashir of being the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, a shadowy group linked to al Qaeda.
Those who follow Bashir’s radical preaching accuse the US of trying to manipulate proceedings.
The trial, as with others brought against Bashir, has been plagued by weak evidence, and reluctant witnesses.
In 2002 a series of blasts outside nightclubs in the popular holiday destination of Bali killed 202 people.
Most were foreign tourists, many of them from Australia.
The court found Bashir not guilty of involvement in another bombing in 2003 outside a Marriott Hotel that killed 12 people.