Bali 'mastermind' sentenced to death

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The Independent Online

The man behind the Bali bombings was sentenced to death yesterday after being found guilty of planning the attacks that killed 202 people, including 26 Britons, at two nightclubs.

Iman Samudra, described as the "intellectual mastermind" of the attacks, punched the air three times and shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) after being sentenced to face the firing squad.

The five judges said that Samudra had "worked behind the scenes as co-ordinator", selecting recruits and helping finance the operation. Judge Sudewi said: "The accused has never regretted his actions or shown any remorse. He has shown to us nothing that would warrant a lighter sentence."

Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, 41, who bought the explosives and the van into which they were packed, was sentenced to death last month for the attack at Kuta Beach in October last year. Three other men have been jailed for up to 16 years.

The court was told Samudra, 33, trained as a fighter for three years in Afghanistan, where he met Osama bin Laden. He was said to be consumed by hatred of the West and wanted to be a martyr. Judge Sudewi said Samudra's motive for taking part in the Bali operation was "to take revenge against what the United States did in Afghanistan".

Samudra, a computer expert, admitted involvement but denied playing a pivotal role. He is to appeal against the verdict. He was also convicted of bombing churches and a robbery that helped pay for the Bali attack.