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Bali Bomb Accomplice FGets 12 Years

An Indonesian court sentenced a man to 12 years in prison Monday for hosting a key planning meeting ahead of last year's Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people.

Judge Ida Bagus Jagra ruled there was insufficient evidence to support prosecution claims that Hernianto knew that the people at the meeting were planning the Oct. 12 attack. But Jagra said Hernianto had violated Indonesia's anti-terror laws by hosting the meeting of militants.

Hernianto, who like many Indonesians uses a single name, claimed during earlier court sessions that he "only served tea and cakes" at the September 2001 meeting in his house on Indonesia's main island of Java.

The meeting was attended by several key figures involved in the blasts, including Amrozi bin Nurhashyim and Imam Samudra, both of whom have been sentenced to death for their roles in planning and carrying out the attack.

Lawyers for Hernianto said they would appeal the verdict.

Prosecutors had asked for a 20-year prison sentence.

Hernianto is the 13th person to be convicted over the attacks. More than 30 have been arrested, but several key suspects are still at large.

The attack has been blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah, a loose collection of Islamic militants that has been described by intelligence officials as al-Qaida's Southeast Asian affiliate.

(China Daily September 29, 2003)

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