You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Bashir's appeal loss marks cleric's 'end'

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016 By Lauren Farrow and Heru Rahadi

Radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir's failure to have his sentence reduced over a militant training camp marks the final downfall of the jihadi leader, a terrorism expert says.

"This failed judicial review makes Abu Bakar Bashir's downfall even worse," terrorism expert and lecturer at Malikussaleh University in Aceh, Al Chaidar told AAP.

"There have been many analysts who said, and I agree with them, that Bashir only used his judicial review as a platform, as a stage for him to speak loudly against the government."

But, he said, the move backfired when followers with Islamic State (ISIS) disagreeing with him using Indonesia's legal system, thus legitimising it.

Now that he has not had any success, Mr Chaidar said: "This is the end. The decline. It's over".

Known in Australia as the spiritual leader of the group behind the deadly 2002 Bali bombings, Bashir was acquitted of masterminding that attack on appeal.

But he was jailed for 15-years in 2011 over support of a terrorist training camp in the northwest tip of Sumatra Island.

It was at this camp that the assailants behind the deadly bombings and shootings in Jakarta on January 14, are said to have trained.

Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi confirmed on Thursday that his bid to have this sentence was rejected last week, saying it did not "fulfil the requirements" for a successful judicial review.

For a judicial review to be successful, Mr Suhadi said an applicant is required to present new evidence, show his sentence is not in line with others or reveal a wrongdoing or mistake by the judiciary.

"After processed by judicial review judges, (the court found) there's none of them ... It doesn't fulfil the requirements," he told AAP on Thursday.

The full decision has yet to be published.

Bashir's lawyer said they were waiting for the published decision before commenting.

"We need the official notification first. We shall read it first and only then, we can take our position to that judicial review sentence," he told AAP on Thursday.

During the hearing of appeal earlier this year, which attracted hundreds of Bashir's supporters to Cilacap Court in Central Java, the ageing leader was unapologetic of his support of the camp, saying, "Maybe giving help to military training according to Indonesian law is wrong but I follow Islamic law because that is related to the next life".

Terrorism analyst Adhe Bhakti agreed that Bashir's credibility among the jihadi network was damaged by him filing a judicial review, adding that the decision would only enforce that.

Since being placed into a high-risk isolation cell in February, as part of a wider crackdown aimed at restricting access to terrorists in jail in Indonesia, he said Bashir's standing has been eroded even further.

There are persistent talk of the ageing cleric also being in ill health.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon