Saudi Escapes Hotel Blast Charge
A Saudi man was cleared on Monday of financing twin suicide attacks on luxury hotels in Jakarta last year that killed seven people.
Al Khelaiw Ali Abdullah, 54, was convicted only of immigration offences and sentenced to 18 months in jail, chief judge Ida Bagus Dwiyantara told the South Jakarta District Court.
The judges dismissed the prosecution case that Abdullah had channelled funds to Islamists led by terror leader Noordin Mohammed Top, who was killed by police two months after the July attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels.
He had given money to key Noordin accomplice Syaifudin Jaelani ahead of the attacks, but there was no evidence that the Saudi knew of Jaelani’s terrorist activities. Police killed Jaelani in October.
Abdullah has maintained his innocence, saying he had merely lent money to associates in a planned business enterprise.
After the verdict was read out, Abdullah shook hands with the judges, prostrated himself in the courtroom and said “Praise to God!”
“I thank the court for viewing this matter in a clear and fair manner. I am happy,” he said.Filed under: Arts & Entertainment