Bombers Facing Death ‘Will Not Seek Clemency’

JAKARTA ~ Three Muslim militants on death row for their involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings will not seek clemency from the president, their last avenue of appeal, a report said this week.

“We do not want a (presidential) pardon,” Imam Samudra was quoted as saying by Kompas online. “A pardon is a democratic law that we oppose.”

Samudra and brothers Amrozi and Ali Ghufron await the firing squad for their role in the 2002 nightclub bombings on the holiday island that killed 202 people. The attacks have been blamed on local militant organization Jemaah Islamiah (JI).

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the three in August but no date has so far been set for their executions.

Samudra, speaking in his usual fiery style after attending Lebaran prayers with his two accomplices at their jail in Central Java on Saturday, said his group was not guilty in the eyes of God.

“We will enter heaven,” Samudra said. “A (presidential) pardon is sought by those who are guilty and we are not guilty.”

“We are ready to die in any manner, as long as this death is blessed by Allah,” Samudra said, adding that he would prefer to be beheaded rather than shot.

Officials have ruled out beheading, an Islamic-sanctioned punishment. Legal executions in Indonesia are carried out by firing squad.

“Me and my friends will go to heaven,” Samudra said in English, adding in Indonesian that “When we die, we will have the company of 70 beautiful angels. Isn’t that something nice?”

Samudra said that the bombings were well-planned actions in the name of Jihad, or holy war, and that they were not mere emotional reactions, Kompas reported.

Last month, the three men signed a final statement that was reported to have read: “If we are executed, then the drops of our blood will, God willing, become a ray of light for Muslims and become hell for infidels and hypocrites.”

The statement also said the three would continue to engage in jihad if they were pardoned and released from prison.

Indonesian courts have issued three death sentences, two life sentences and more than 30 other long jail terms to those involved in the Bali attacks or those who gave them shelter.

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