News24

Terrorist’s driver gets 8 yrs

2010-06-14 16:44

Jakarta - An Indonesian court on Monday sentenced the driver of late terror leader Noordin Mohammed Top to eight years' jail for abetting terrorism and plotting to assassinate the president.

Amir Abdillah, 34, was convicted of concealing information about Malaysian-born Islamist Noordin and of taking part in preparations for a bomb attack on the convoy of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The sentence was lighter than the 10 years sought by prosecutors because he had cooperated with police and shown regret, the court heard.

"It's true he assisted in surveying the route which would be used by the president's vehicle convoy. It's true he knew about the plot to bomb the vehicle convoy," chief judge Sudarwin told the South Jakarta district court.

Abdillah was arrested in the wake of twin suicide bombings on luxury hotels in Jakarta last July which killed seven people, the last in a series of deadly attacks blamed on Noordin and his extremist network.

Police killed Noordin in a raid in September, ending one of Southeast Asia's biggest manhunts.

Despite the court's leniency, Abdillah expressed little remorse as he spoke to reporters after the sentence had been handed down. He also claimed he was innocent of the most serious charges, including plotting to kill Yudhoyono.

"I don't know if this is a heavy or light sentence... Actually I only agreed that I hid information. The other things I'm not so sure about," he said.

"I just did as I was told ... I was told to deliver ingredients for cakes. I didn't know they were actually explosive materials. I was asked to drive a cleric around - I had no idea he was Noordin M Top," he added.