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    Trial of Militant Muslim Cleric Abu Bakar Bashir Continues


    by NTDTelevision

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    In Indonesia, the trial of a Muslim cleric with militant ties continues. Abu Bakar Bashir could face the death penalty if he is found guilty of running a militant training camp in Aceh (a-cheh) Province.

    Muslim cleric and terror case defendant Abu Bakar Bashir was interrogated by judges in a Jakarta court on Monday... over his role in the training of militants in Aceh Province.

    Bashir says the military camp is part of an effort to establish an Islamic state and uphold sharia law in Indonesia.

    He admitted to receiving donations from his followers.

    [Abu Bakar Bashir, Muslim Cleric]:
    "We have received donations, money and physical contributions from our followers."

    He says the training cannot be called terrorism, as it is an obligation for Muslims.

    He says there's no need to report the carrying out of sharia law to authorities.

    The cleric also took aim at Indonesian leaders.

    [Abu Bakar Bashir, Muslim Cleric]:
    "God has said whoever rules a country without sharia is an infidel."

    Monday's hearing was the final day of witness testimony and evidence examination before the court hears sentencing demands.

    Bashir faces terror charges which carry a maximum penalty of death, but analysts say the death penalty is unlikely to be imposed if he is convicted.

    Two previous attempts to convict him on terror charges failed because his followers recanted their testimonies in court.

    Security analysts say this time prosecutors have enough evidence to get a conviction.