Praising God and denouncing Jews, Indonesian Muslim militant Amrozi faced his judges on Thursday as they delivered the first verdict in the Bali nightclub bombing trials.
The climax of Amrozi’s trial came just two days after a car bomb killed at least 10 people at a luxury hotel in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and coincided with concern that a shadowy Southeast Asian network linked to al Qaeda might be plotting further attacks.
Amrozi, dubbed the smiling bomber, faces death by firing squad if convicted on charges of helping to plot, organize and carry out crimes of terror in relation to the blasts that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, on October 12 last year.
“Burn, burn the Jews,” a defiant-looking Amrozi shouted in Arabic as two police escorted him to a seat at the center of the court opposite a panel of five judges who began the lengthy process of summing up the evidence.
“Allahu akbar (God is Greatest),” the 40-year-old mechanic from neighboring Java island cried, punching the air with his fist. He wore a loose white Muslim shirt, a cream and green skull cap and dark trousers.
He showed scant interest in the proceedings, fidgeting and then smiling at the prosecutors as he left for the lunch break. During the trial Amrozi admitted involvement in the attacks, saying “whites” deserved to die.
He has also said he would welcome the death penalty, but said he does not belong to the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah Muslim network that police blame for the Bali bombings and are already linking to Tuesday’s Jakarta blast at the JW Marriott Hotel.