Indonesian Prosecutors Expect Guilty Verdict for 2005 Bali Bombings Suspect

Prosecutors said they were confident judges would find a suspected Islamic militant guilty Tuesday of harboring the alleged mastermind of last year's suicide bombings on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.

The verdict will be the first in the Oct. 1, 2005 strikes on three crowded restaurants that left 20 people dead, with several other rulings expected later this week.

Abdul Aziz, 30, arrived at Denpasar District Court in an armored vehicle and wearing a green Islamic tunic.

"This man's actions resulted in a gross terrorist attack," said prosecutor Olopan Nainggolan, expressing confidence judges would find him guilty of harboring one of Southeast Asia's most wanted terrorists, Noordin Top, ahead of the attacks.

CountryWatch: Indonesia

"I provided plenty of evidence to this court," he said. "I'm sure judges will sentence him."

Though charged under anti-terror legislation that carries the death penalty, prosecutors have recommended Aziz serve 10 years.

He is also accused of setting up a Web site that called on Muslims to wage war against "infidels." The site also gave step-by-step instructions on how to kill foreigners in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

Noordin is also accused of playing a key role in three other attacks on Western targets in Indonesia in recent years, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.

The Malaysian fugitive was once a member of Jemaah Islamiyah, a loose network of Islamic radicals with cells across Southeast Asia. But security officials and experts say the militant leader now operates independently of the group, which has been weakened by scores of arrests in recent years.

Three other suspects accused in the 2005 bombings are charged with harboring Noordin or making or transporting the explosives used in the attacks. Their verdicts are expected later this week.