Militant Jailed for Assisting Fugitive

JAKARTA ~ A Muslim militant was sentenced to life imprisonment in Central Java on Wednesday after he was found guilty of assisting one of Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorists.

Subur Sugiarto, alias Abu Mujahid, was jailed for life for serving as a top aide to Malaysian bombmaker Noordin Mohammad Top while he was on the run in 2005 in Central Java.

Sugiarto was found guilty of “taking part in an act of terrorism” by hiding Noordin and of illegal possession of weapons and explosives, said judge Muhammad Effendi Murod.

The militant shouted “Allahu Akbar (God is great)” when the judge closed the trial and ordered him put behind bars.

Prosecutors had earlier urged Sugiarto be executed by firing squad.

The same district court earlier in the day sentenced 29-year-old Ardi Wibowo, a fellow defendant of Sugiarto, to six years in jail for failing to report to the authorities the whereabouts of Noordin.

“The defendant should have realized that what he did was against the law and caused unrest among the population,” Muryanto said.

Wibowo’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict, which was one year lighter than prosecutors had recommended.

Wibowo was accused of having acted as a go-between for Noordin and Sugiarto while in Semarang in August this year.

Noordin and his fellow Malaysian, Azahari Husin, who was slain during a police raid in November, were key members of the Al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah extremist network, blamed for a series of terrorist attacks.

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