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    Muslim Cleric Abu Bakar Bashir Walks Out of Court in Jakarta


    by NTDTelevision

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    Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who is standing trial on terror charges, has walked out of an Indonesian court. Bashir is facing trial for leading a terror group that has ties to al Qaeda.

    Abu Bakar Bashir is being tried on terror charges in this Indonesian court.

    He is accused of leading a group called Jemaah Islamiyah, which is linked to al-Qaeda.

    But the Muslim cleric and his lawyers walked out of the courtroom on Monday.

    They are protesting against the judge's decision to allow six witnesses to give evidence via teleconference.

    The first witnesses for the prosecution were to be heard on Monday.

    Bashir says his trial is illegal.

    [Abu Bakar Bashir, Muslim Cleric]:
    "With this court, the government of this country has made Islam its enemy."

    Last week judges approved that 16 witnesses could testify by video teleconferencing.

    A ruling they said was in accordance with Indonesia's witness protection laws.

    But Bashir's lawyers vehemently disagreed.

    [Son Hadi, Bashir Supporter]:
    "Last week we submitted our protest to the prosecutors and the court, that we cannot accept a teleconference for this trial."

    More than two thousand personnel are being used to look after security at the court.

    Bashir has twice escaped terror charges in the past, but this time police have more evidence.

    Analysts say if Bashir is found guilty he is likely to face a long jail term.