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Indonesian cops jailed for supplying arms

US hearing for 'Merchant of Death' Bout postponed
New York (AFP) Jan 7, 2011 - Alleged "Merchant of Death" arms dealer Viktor Bout will appear in court on January 21 and not this week as planned after his lawyer obtained a postponement, a US court said Friday. Bout, who turns 44 on January 13, was captured in a US sting in March 2008 and extradited from Thailand in November after a long legal battle. He is currently being held in a high-security prison in New York. His lawyer had demanded a delay of 30 days but the judge only granted him until January 21, according to a court clerk. Bout -- whose story inspired the 2005 Nicolas Cage film "Lord of War" -- has been charged with arms trafficking and terrorism and is accused of flying weapons to insurgents in Africa, South America and the Middle East.

If convicted, he faces between 25 years and life in prison. The former Soviet military translator has insisted he is innocent and accused the United States of trying to make him a scapegoat for various international problems. On Sunday Bout said in a rare interview with RIA Novosti that he had rejected a US plea bargain offer that would have exposed his alleged contact list. Military analysts in Moscow have said his arrest was a particularly sensitive blow for Russia because it threatened to expose potential links between government officials and the illicit arms trade. Russia initially fought the extradition to the United States. But the Kremlin's top foreign policy adviser said in November that Bout "should answer the questions that US justice has for him."
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (UPI) Jan 7, 2011
An Indonesian court sentenced two national policemen each to 10 years in jail for supplying weapons and ammunition to militant groups in Aceh province.

The East Jakarta District Court found Tatang Mulyadi and Abdi Tunggal, former members of the National Police, guilty of offenses committed October 2009-March 2010.

"The defendants supplied 28 firearms, 19,999 bullets and 72 magazines to terrorist groups in Aceh," presiding Judge Tri Widodo said in his verdict.

Mulyadi was a guard at the National Police arms warehouse in Cipinang, East Jakarta, when he stole weapons and ammunition. He teamed with Tunggal to sell them on the black market in Aceh, court proceedings disclosed.

The sentences are the latest in a series of trials intended to stamp out rebel activity -- including their many training locations -- within troubled Aceh province where authorities believe al-Qaida has many connections.

Police intensified their hunt for leaders of extremist groups last February after they discovered a major militant training camp in Aceh.

The following month police confirmed they shot one of Indonesia's most wanted men, Dulmatin, a militant involved in the fatal 2002 Bali bomb attacks. The United States had placed a $10 million reward for capture of the elusive militant.

Dulmatin, 40, was suspected of being a lead planner for the nightclub bombings that killed 202 people in the tourist district of Kuta on the southern Indonesian island of Bali. He allegedly belonged to Jemaah Islamiah, a militant group with links to al-Qaida.

The Bali bombing in October 2002 was the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia. More than three dozen Indonesians died. More than 150 of the 202 dead were foreigners, including 88 Australians. Around 240 people were injured.

Dulmatin's death followed that of Noordin Mohammad Top, another alleged terrorist, in September 2009. Mohammad Top, 41, was killed in a shootout with police.

Like Dulmatin, he was believed to be a leading member of Jemaah Islamiah. He was wanted for involvement in the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings in Jakarta in July 2009. The bombings were the first major incidents in Indonesia since August 2003, when the same Marriott hotel suffered a car-bomb attack leaving 12 people dead and 150 injured.

The remote and mainly Islamic province of Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra, has a population of around 4.5 million and continues to occupy the attention of national police. Many separatist and religious extremist groups operate from camps deep with the dense forests.

Aceh is economically important to the archipelago nation because it has substantial natural resources, including oil and natural gas.

Last December, police formally charged the radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir -- who has Aceh connections -- with inciting terrorism.

Bashir, 71, awaits trial after being arrested in August over allegations of helping set up a militant training camp in Aceh.

Bashir previously served more than two years in jail before being cleared of involvement with the Jemaah Islamiah.

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