Indonesia tries 4 Chinese Uighurs charged in terrorism case
Mar. 23, 2015
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Four Chinese Uighurs went on trial Monday in Indonesia on charges they engaged in an "evil conspiracy" with Indonesian terrorists including a fugitive militant alleged to be behind murders of police.
The four Chinese men were arrested in September while they were allegedly trying to meet Indonesia's most wanted extremist, Abu Wardah Santoso, in Central Sulawesi province. Police said they found stickers with the Islamic State group's symbol on them in the car carrying the four men when they were arrested.
Ahmet Mahmud, Abdullah alias Altinci Bayyram and Abdulbasit Tuzer are being tried in one case and Ahmet Bozoglan in a separate trial at the North Jakarta District Court.
Prosecutors said the four men violated Indonesia's harsh anti-terror law and violated immigration law by using fake Turkish passports.
The same court is holding trials also for four Indonesians accused of being militant associates of Santoso, a fugitive suspect known as the leader of Mujahidin Indonesia Timur.
"The defendant has been involved in evil conspiracy with Santoso's terrorist group in Poso," said Dicky Octavian, a prosecutor for the trial of Bozoglan.
Poso, in Central Sulawesi, was a flashpoint for violence between Christians and Muslims in which more than 1,000 people died in 2001 and 2002 and authorities believe the district is a terrorist hotbed.
Asludin Hatjani, a lawyer for the foreigners, said they would not submit objections to the prosecutors' statement immediately, which means the next hearings in the case will involve presentation of the witnesses. The trials were adjourned until next week.
The case against the four Uighurs does not involve any alleged activities on behalf of the Islamic State group. Indonesia has outlawed membership in the group, but Turkey said on Friday it had stopped 16 Indonesians and was looking for others suspected of trying to enter Syria to join the group.
China has alleged that members of the Muslim Uighur minority joined the Islamic State and returned home to engage in terrorist plots.