Bali survivors welcome guilty verdict

 

Australian survivors and relatives of victims of the Bali bombings have welcomed the guilty verdict against a Muslim militant for plotting and organising the attack, but there was a mixed reaction to him being sentenced to death.

"Justice has been done," Mr Peter Hughes said today, with burn scars from the bombings still clearly evident on his face. "It is good to see that he has actually got the death penalty."

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No matter what happens today it will not bring back 202 people
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Jason McCartney, a survivor of the Bali bombing

Mr Daniel Mortensen, a player and official with Sydney's Coogee Dolphins rugby club which lost six players in the blasts, said: "He took so many lives and I believe in an eye for an eye".

Amrozi, a 40-year-old Indonesian mechanic dubbed the smiling bomber, is the first person convicted of the bombing of Kuta Beach nightclubs on October 12th, killing 202 people, 88 of them Australians.

He has admitted involvement in the attacks but denied belonging to the Jemaah Islamiah Muslim network police blame for the Bali blasts.

Australian Mr Brian Deegan, who's son Josh was killed in Bali, also welcomed the verdict but not the death sentence. "I believe it will make him a martyr," Deegan told Reuters.

"I hope that this verdict provides some sense of comfort to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy and that they feel that in some way justice has been done," Australian Prime Minister John Howard told reporters in Sydney.

Mr Howard said his government would not make any representation to Jakarta to prevent the sentence being carried out. Australia does not have the death penalty.

"If it's the view of the Indonesian court that it be carried out, then it should be carried out," Howard told reporters.

Mr Deegan said he would have preferred Amrozi receive life in prison, saying the death sentence would spark more attacks by militant Muslims."We are going down a road where there will be all sorts of trouble - a road of terror," he said.

"While the death sentence hangs over his head it will inflame things even more. There is going to be a lot of repeats of Tuesday night," he said, referring to a car bomb that killed at least 10 people at a hotel in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

Survivors said the guilty verdict would not mean closure as there were still more people to be brought to justice. Indonesian police have arrested or identified more than 30 suspects.Others said an appeal against the sentence by Amrozi's lawyers could take years.

Survivor Jason McCartney said: "No matter what happens today it will not bring back 202 people".