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Bashir faces trial -

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Bashir faces trial

Reporter: Peter Cave

TONY JONES: More than two years after the Bali bombings the Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has gone
on trial in Indonesia.

He's accused of being the spiritual leader of the terror network Jemaah Islamiah and is facing
scores of charges, including terrorism.

He's also facing criminal charges related to the Bali and Marriott Hotel bombings.

Foreign affairs editor Peter Cave reports from Jakarta.

PETER CAVE: As Abu Bakar Bashir arrived at the trial being held in a make-shift courtroom in an
auditorium at the Department of Agriculture, he told reporters he was innocent.

"Everybody knows, even those in primary school, that this trial has been masterminded by Bush and
his slave, John Howard," he says.

Security is high for the trial with more than 650 police on hand, including SWAT teams and snipers.

About 30 supporters were allowed into the courthouse and they set up a chant of "God is great" as
he was brought in.

Bashir signalled for them to be quiet.

He identified himself before the court and then began the long process of reading the 65-page
indictment.

At the centre of the accusations is a charge that he attended a Jemaah Islamiah training camp in
the Philippines in 2002, personally delivering a fatwa from Osama bin Laden calling for attacks on
the Americans and their allies.

SALMAN MARYADI, CHIEF PROSECUTOR: The defendant ordered Jemaah Islamiah regional leaders to
disseminate the teachings of Osama bin Laden which call for the war against and the killing of
Americans and US allies.

PETER CAVE: It's claimed that two Malaysians, Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Top, who are
alleged to have been involved in the planning and carrying out the bombing of two nightclubs in
Bali and the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta were present.

The chief prosecutor accused Abu Bakar Bashir of planning or inciting others to engage in
terrorism, a charge which carries the death penalty.

He also accused him of a criminal conspiracy which endangered or cost the lives of others in Bali
and at the Marriott Hotel, a charge which could see him sent to jail for 20 years.

The indictment was prepared well before the inauguration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono but
how the trial is conducted is seen as a test of not only his determination to do something about
terrorism, but also something about the corrupt justice system in Indonesia.

Peter Cave, Lateline.