Patek: Bali bombings were "against my conscience"

Khabar Southeast Asia
Insisting that his role was minor and that he was remorseful over the devastation, Bali suspect
Umar Patek, on trial for his alleged role in the 2002 Bali bombings, told the West Jakarta District Court Thursday (May 31st) that he felt deep remorse over the terror attack. Insisting that his role in the plot had been a minor one, he asked the judges for leniency.
“I felt so upset and guilty when I saw the bomb killed many people. I said to [the attackers] that it was my last involvement in this kind of activity,” he told the court.
“It needs to be understood that whether I came or I did not come to Bali, the 2002 Bali bomb incident would have still happened because they had been working on their plan. The bomb which was detonated on October 12th, 2002 was not due to my active involvement, because I had been strongly against the idea,” Patek said.
He said he had mixed only 50kg of chemicals, compared to the remaining 950kg prepared by others, and that he had done so with reluctance. The plot was “against my conscience”, the defendant said, reiterating his earlier expressions of regret.
A total of 202 people died as bombs went off in quick succession at two locations. The first, hidden in a suicide bomber’s backpack, exploded at Paddy’s Pub in the Kuta nightclub district. Twenty seconds later, a massive car bomb destroyed the nearby Sari Club and surrounding areas.
Patek – dubbed “Demolition Man” in the media – had begun his trial with the reputation of having masterminded the attack, but his defense team has argued this was far from the case.
Reading from a 31-page, handwritten defense statement which he said took him two weeks to prepare, Patek drew a sharp comparison between himself and Muhammad Ihsan, also known as Idris, who received a 10-year sentence for his role in the 2003 bombing of Jakarta’s JW Marriott Hotel but acquitted in the Bali attack.
Idris, he alleged, knew what the Bali bombing targets were, had surveyed the area, and received as much as $30,000 to aid with the plot — whereas he, Patek, was mostly in the dark. He voiced hope that the judges would give him a proportionately lighter sentence.
“All this time, the mass media have been reporting that I had a big role in the incident, as if I was the one who assembled [the bomb], Patek told a press conference after the hearing. “But the trial’s facts have proved that my role is minor… I am only a deer, not an elephant.”
In a trial session on Monday, Patek’s attorneys recommended that he be jailed for less than fifteen years. The prosecution disagreed, however, saying a life sentence was appropriate.
The demand for a longer sentence is “based on the facts during the hearing,” prosecutor Bambang Haryadi told reporters, rejecting a claim by Patek that his team had not considered what came to light in the trial.
The trial proceedings will resume on 4 June.

Gaga show still uncertain as fans hope for good news

Khabar Southeast Asia
With efforts continuing to find a “win-win” solution allowing June 3rd concert to go ahead, fans are campaigning to save the show via social media
Lady Gaga’s planned concert in Jakarta could boost the Indonesian economy and enhance its international reputation, a government spokesman told Khabar Southeast Asia this week.
According to I Gusti Ngurah Putra, spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, hosting an artist of Lady Gaga’s stature would be a positive development for the country.
“Having an international artist performing in Indonesia can help the tourism sector, which can then tell the world that Indonesia is a safe country to visit,” he said.
However, he noted, the tourism ministry does not issue concert permits for international artists and “cannot criticise or interfere with any other government institution’s decision”.
“We hope that the promoter has considered the performance style and theme so that they align with Indonesian culture and values and not create any controversy,” he said.
As of Friday (May 25th), prospects for the concert remained uncertain, as the singer’s promoters and management appeared to differ over whether she would tone down her show. Meanwhile, the National Police – which earlier in the month said it would not issue a permit — signaled it has not yet made a firm decision on whether to allow it to go ahead.
In a statement, the police said they were “evaluating inputs from all sides”.
If you don’t like it, don’t buy a ticket
On Sunday, the government said it had urged the chief of the National Police, General Timur Pradopo, to resolve the dispute by looking for a “win-win solution,” The Jakarta Post reported.
“The Police could put an end to the heated situation by mediating between the concert promoter and the protesters so that the show can go on under certain terms and conditions,” The Post quoted Djoko Suyanto, the co-ordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, as saying.
He also warned hardline Islamist groups opposed to the show, such as the Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI), not to use violence and intimidation to further their views.
“There must not be any threats in a democratic country. If you don’t like [a performer] then don’t watch [the concert],” The Jakarta Globe quoted him as saying.
Fans take to social media
With their hopes in jeopardy, Lady Gaga fansin Indonesia have been fighting to save the concert via Twitter and other social media sites. @LadyGagaINDO is a Twitter account for “Little Monsters,” as the fans have been nicknamed. It was created by Anggiat Sihombing, an 18-year-old university student at the Sampoerna School of Business. His Twitter account currently has 24,874 followers.
Tevina Tahitu, 17, a member of the creative team at the Twitter site, said the campaign has had a global response.
“We are so glad that #IndonesiaSavesGaga became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter on 15 May 2012 for few hours. It means that we have gotten a lot of support from Twitter users,” she told Khabar.
“We hope [the trending] could give moral support to promoters to bring Lady Gaga here and could influence police to issue the concert permit, because it represents the voice of Indonesian society,” she added.
According to Anggiat, meanwhile, the number of @LadyGagaINDO followers has increased by approximately 500 per day since the Lady Gaga controversy began.
Many ardent fans have used their Twitter feeds to defend the star from accusations by FPI members that she is a devil-worshipping blasphemer.
On the contrary, tweeted @thewillysun, her message is positive and her lyrics inspiring.
“The only one that needs to get banned is FPI itself. They’re embarrassing this country on a daily basis,” tweeted another fan, Yan Teio Madridistra, via his account @Yanteio.
According to Anggiat, the “Little Monsters” are staging peaceful actions, including a flash mob at Central Park Mall, West Jakarta on Sunday, in order to uphold freedom of expression.
“Despite the rumour that said Lady Gaga is a satanic icon, we want to show many people that she does not negatively influence her fans,” he said. “In a fact, we are rational people who prefer to do a positive protest by dancing and singing together.”
FPI vowing to “burn the stage”
Speaking to Khabar, an FPI leader denied that members of the group have bought tickets to the show or that they plan to create problems during the concert if police allow it to go ahead.
“We did not instruct any FPI member to purchase tickets to the Lady Gaga concert,” the group’s deputy secretary general, Awid Mashuri, told Khabar.
“I heard that it is a bunch of Bekasi young people who claimed to be FPI members. But I want to say that if they are indeed FPI members, it is their right to purchase and watch the concert. Do not blame us if members attend the concert.”
Earlier this week, however, FPI Bekasi chapter head Murhali Barda posted a photo and announcement on his Facebook account indicating that members have purchased 150 tickets to the show. He said they had bought the tickets not for the sake of enjoying the concert but in order to do “other things”.
On Friday, FPI members staged raucous protests at sites across Jakarta, including outside police headquarters. Demonstrators sporting devils’ fangs and horns told the pop star to “go to hell”.

A statement handed out at the protests called for members to “crush liberals” and “fight gays and lesbians”, while also warning that FPI members would burn the stage if the star performs, the AFP reported.

Prosecutors seek life sentence for remorseful Patek

Khabar Southeast Asia

Prosecutors seek life sentence for remorseful Patek

On Monday (May 21st), prosecutors at West Jakarta District Court demanded a life sentence for Umar Patek, accused of involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings. The defendant again apologised to the victims and their families, as well as to the people of Bali, the Christian community and the local and national governments. [Elisabeth Oktofani/Khabar]
The accused Bali bomber’s life should be spared because he regrets his actions and has co-operated with investigators, prosecutors told the West Jakarta District Court.
Prosecutors on Monday (May 21st) said accused Bali bomb maker Umar Patek should spend the rest of his life in jail, but stopped short of seeking the death penalty because they said he had been co-operative and shown remorse.
“We are recommending that Umar Patek be given a life sentence,” prosecutor Bambang Suharyadi said.
Patek, on trial for his alleged role in the 2002 Bali bombings and a spate of attacks on Christian churches two years before that, repeated his apologiesduring his appearance at West Jakarta District Court on Monday.
“I regret what I have done… (and) I apologise to the families of victims who died — Indonesians and foreigners,” said Patek, addressing the victims, their families, the people of Bali, the Christian community, and the local and national governments. “I apologise also to victims who were injured.”
According to Bambang, the defendant should be found guilty of premeditated murder and the use of explosives to commit acts of terrorism, among other charges.
The bombings claimed 202 lives and had a devastating impact on the local people, the prosecutor said, adding that they were rooted in an erroneous interpretation of Islam.
“Patek’s actions, which were motivated by a wrong teaching, caused long and deep suffering among Balinese society,” he said.
However, he added, Patek has acknowledged a role in the attacks and co-operated throughout the judicial process.
“On the top of that, he also regretted his involvement and apologised to the victims and their family in front of the public,” Bambang added.
When his trial began in February, prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty. Imam Samudra and brothers Amrozi and Ali Ghufron, three key figures in the 2002 bombings, were convicted and executed by firing squad in November 2008.
Terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail said it was important that Patek remain alive because of the information he could still yield, according to AFP.
“Patek is an encyclopedia of information on the who’s who of al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia,” said Ismail, executive director of the Institute for International Peace Building in Jakarta.
“Unlike the executed Bali bombers he showed remorse, meaning there’s little chance he will try to plan future attacks from jail. He can also be used as a figure to speak out against terrorism,” he said.
Patek is accused of being the expert bomb maker for the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network. Once the most wanted terror suspect in Indonesia, he spent nearly a decade on the run but was captured in January 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was holed up.
During his trial he denied playing a major role in the Bali attacks, saying he only helped mix explosives but did not know how they would be used.
The trial will resume on May 28th, when Patek’s lawyers will read his defense. A verdict is expected June 21st.

Hardline groups introduce new strain of intolerance

Khabar Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s reputation for pluralism and diversity is under threat by militant ideologues and their supporters, civil liberties activists say
Andreas Yewangoe wants to see more effective steps taken to protect religious tolerance in Indonesia.
“Why can’t we live in harmony and peace in this country, where nobody cares about the differences in our religion, race and ethnicity?” the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) chairman told reporters after an incident in which a hardline Islamist group – the Islamic Defenders’ Front – blocked a local congregation from worshipping at their church.
“This kind of action is really contrary to the Indonesian constitution,” he added.
On May 6th, the congregation of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) Filadelfia gathered for a service, only to be heckled and bullied by FPI vigilantes. The Filadefia branch is at the center of an ongoing local dispute in Bekasi, West Java, over whether it has the right to hold Christian services at its church building.
A journalist at the scene, Rhesya Agustine, said the mob was intimidating women with threats of sexual violence. “They yelled at us by saying ‘Rape them! Rape them!’ I was so surprised that the situation was so chaotic”.
Another reporter at the scene, Tantowi Anwari, was beaten — allegedly by FPI members angered by a slogan on his T-shirt. It read: “Fight the tyranny of the majority.” Police had to rush him to safety.
According to a video recording of the attack presented at a press conference, the attacks were led by Murhali Barda, a former head of the Bekasi chapter of the FPI. He was jailed for five months last year for inciting an attack in September 2010 that culminated in the stabbing of two leaders of the HKBP Ciketing, also in Bekasi.
On Thursday (May 17th), a mob again disrupted worship services at the Filadelfia church, blocking access to the building as parishioners tried to enter in order to celebrate the ascension of Jesus.
“We [the churchgoers and the mob] were only separated by a barricade of policemen who managed to protect us even though the intolerant people were trying so hard to break through the barricade,” the Jakarta Post quoted the church’s Reverend Palti Panjaitan as saying.
“They threw urine, sewage and frogs at us — all of which also struck the policemen,” he added.
The melee was one of several recent incidents involving aggressive action by hardline Islamist groups. On May 4th, two days before the church rioting, members of the Indonesian Mujahedeen Council – an organisation linked to convicted terrorist Abu Bakar Bashir – disrupted a book discussion at the Institute for Islamic and Social Studies Foundation in Yogyakarta.
The featured speaker that day was Irshad Manji, a liberal Canadian Muslim activist and author.
“They beat the participants and also my assistant,” Manji told the media. “The attackers wore masks and helmets while they beat innocent people and destroyed everything. They are really cowards.”
Her appearances in Jakarta also provoked threats and disruption, prompting the author to suggest that extremists are undermining the country’s longstanding values.
In a statement to the media, Manji recalled how she visited Indonesia four years ago and found it to be a tolerant, open-minded and pluralistic country. She recounted the experience in her book and suggested that Indonesia was an example for other Muslim countries.
“Unfortunately, things have changed,” Manji said.
“Many people told me that the Indonesian National Police and government are powerless towards these gangsters. But Indonesian citizens must not be powerless,” she added.
Citizens’ groups, meanwhile, are campaigning for better protection of civil liberties. On May 10th, a movement calling itself “FPI-free Indonesia Movement” submitted a petition to the national police, demanding serious action.
Over 1,500 people have joined the campaign, organised via blogs and Twitter.

Indonesia’s Shia Muslims face pressure

Khabar Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s Shia Muslims face pressure

Amid increased harassment of Shia Muslims and other religious minorities, the country’s moderate Muslim organisations are calling for tolerance.
Numbering around 6 million, Shia Muslims form under 3% of Indonesia’s population. Despite its history of tolerance and religious diversity, they have become the target of intimidation in recent years, even being driven out of villages by mobs of vigilantes.
Some Muslim organisations in the Sunni-dominated country have been calling for the government to impose restrictions on them, arguing the Shia Muslims are not practicing real Islam.
Last month, the Indonesian Ulema Forum (Forum Ulama Ummat Indonesia, FUUI) issued a fatwa demanding that the Ministry of Justice and Human Right and the Ministry of Religious Affairs revoke the licence of all organisations with a Shia viewpoint and ban their activities.
“We’ve been monitoring Shia groups in West Java for more than 20 years and they seem to be braver in practicing their belief openly. Shia is actually a form of blasphemy against Islam because they have different view on the leadership of Muslim people,” FUUI leader Athian Ali Muhammad Da’i told Khabar Southeast Asia.
“Please don’t get us wrong. We respect any religion. But if Shia people want to keep practicing their view, they must establish their own religion without Islam’s name because Shia is not part of Islam,” he said.
“It is just like our demand to [the minority sect] Ahmadiyah to establish their own religion if they want to practice their view,” he added.
But not all Muslim leaders agree. According to Imdadun Rahmat, deputy secretary general of the moderate Islamic organisation Nahdlatul Ulama, Sunni and Shia Muslims have the same God, Allah; the same prophet, Mohammad; and the same holy book, the Qur’an.
“Even though Shias differ on who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim community after the Prophet died, we still consider Shia as part of Islam and we do not dismiss Shia,” he said.
It is not the government’s role to intervene in religions disputes or enforce fatwas, he added.
Religious organisations can issue fatwas or decrees on certain topics but they must not force any individual or government to implement them, Imdadun said.
“Fatwa is a study which is conducted by Islamic jurists (ahli fiqih Islam) on a certain topic,” he went on to explain.
“In other words, a fatwa is a religious opinion that is issued by a religious organisation on any topic and it is not a legally binding instrument. It is implemented by an individual who has a belief in the fatwa,” he said.
“Therefore, no one can be forced to implement a fatwa in his or her life. Or force the government to make it a foundation for public regulation.”
A Shia cleric, Tajul Muluk, is currently on trial in Sampang, East Java for blasphemy. Muluk, the head of a Shia Muslim boarding school on Madura Island, was arrested after the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a fatwa describing his teachings as “deviant”.
According to a report in The Jakarta Globe, more than 300 members of Sampang’s Shia community were displaced in December 2011 when a mob of 500 people attacked and burned Shia houses, a boarding school and a place of worship there.
The persecution of religious minorities has little precedent in Indonesian history, Rumadi, a senior researcher at the Wahid Institute, noted in an April 29th article in The Globe.
“One of our conclusions is that society has become prone to intolerance. What used to be considered as acceptable has become unacceptable,” he said, citing mob violence against Shia Muslims in particular.
Abdullah Beik of Ahlul Bait Indonesia (ABI), an organisation that advocates for Shia Muslims, described FUUI’s demand as odd.
“It needs to be understood that even in Saudi Arabia, Shia Muslim has a place and we can go there for Umrah. Therefore, the FUUI demand is very odd,” he told Khabar.
Moreover, Abdullah added, we must not forget that since we live in Indonesia, which has a motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), we must respect each other and live side by side in harmony with other people who have different backgrounds.
Jakarta resident and Sunni Muslim Ahmad Aqiqi, 30, also does not agree with the FUUI edict.
“As long as their religious practice does not violate any human right and regulation, I think every Muslim has the right to choose what kind of Islam they want to believe,” he said.

Bali suspect apologizes to victims, says bombings were wrong

Khabar Southeast Asia
Umar Patek, on trial for his alleged role in Indonesia’s deadliest terror attack, said he was sorry “from the bottom of my heart”.
Speaking at his trial on Monday (May 7th), terror suspect Umar Patek made a dramatic apology to victims of the 2002 Bali bombing, saying he was sorry he had not reported the plot to police
“From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologise to all the victims, victim’s families, the Bali community, the Christian community in Jakarta, the Bali government and also the Indonesian government,” he said, his voice breaking with emotion.
Patek, 45, is alleged to have played a key role in building the car bomb that killed over 200 people at a nightclub in Bali’s Kuta area in October 2002. He faces terrorism charges that could bring him the death penalty should he be convicted.
“I was very sad and regret the incident happened, because I was against it from the start. I never agreed with their methods,” said the defendant, clad in a white shirt.
He told the West Jakarta District Court that the bombings were a total failure as far as he was concerned, and that he had objected to plans drawn up by the ringleader, Ali Ghufron, also known as Mukhlas.
“Mukhlas said that their intention was to enact revenge for the massacre of Muslims in Palestine, but they targeted the wrong people,” he said, adding that the Westerners and Indonesians killed by the bombings had no connection with the Palestinian issue.
Asked by presiding judge Encep Yuliadi why he did not report the plot to the police if he disagreed with it so strongly, the defendant said he was unable to leave the group and feared harassment if he turned them in.
“I could not leave because I did not have enough money to go back,” Patek said. “[Senior Jemaah Islamiyah militant] Dulmatin paid for my travel expenses and I only had Rp 10,000 (around $10) in my pocket as I had left my money with my wife before I went.”
“Apart from that, if I reported the plan to the police, there would be a great slander against me among the Muslim activists,” he added.
Patek was arrested in January 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan – the same city where bin Laden was hiding out at the time of his killing in May of last year. Although many have speculated that the Java native was hoping to meet the late al-Qaeda leader, Patek has denied knowing he was there.
During the course of his trial, two former associates testified that al-Qaeda sent the Bali bomb plotters as much as $30,000 – money which paid for the Mitsubishi used in the attack.
Patek insisted again Monday that he had never met bin Laden in person. While acknowledging that he helped mix the explosives, he insisted that his participation was minimal and occurred under duress.
“As [Bali plotter] Sawat knew that I was really against the idea, he said to me that it is better for me to do what they said because I was just a slave and I could not push them to change their plan,” Patek said.
“I think this is my destiny that I have been captured and I am ready to take all the responsibility for my involvement,” he told the court. “Once again, I apologise to all the victims and their families.”
“I also thank the Indonesian government for bringing my wife and me back to Indonesia so the legal process could be conducted here,” Patek said.
The trial proceedings will resume on May 21st.

Witness: Patek said terror attacks were against Islam

Khabar Southeast Asia
Bali bombing suspect Umar Patek was concerned that violence against civilians went against Islamic teachings and created a bad image for Muslims, according to a fellow militant who testified at his trial
Umar Patek disagreed with the extremist programme of carrying out violent attacks because he felt it represented a misinterpretation of jihad and would create a bad image for Muslims, an ex-militant told the West Jakarta District Court on Thursday (April 3rd).
Patek, alleged to have played a key role in building the car bomb that killed 202 people at a nightclub in Bali’s Kuta area in October 2002, faces terrorism charges that could bring him the death penalty should he be convicted.
According to a court document, Patek fled to the Philippines after the 2002 blast and joined the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which has been waging an armed campaign for autonomy. The Philippines insurgents, who deny being connected to al-Qaeda or Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), are currently in peace negotiations with the Philippines government.
“I did not know if Patek was involved in the 2002 Bali bomb attack because he never told me about it,” testified Iqbal Huseini, an Indonesian jihadist, who joined the MILF in 2003.
“But he always said that he disagreed with all the attack programmes in Indonesia because Indonesia is not a war zone and it is against the message of jihad,” he said.
Moreover, Iqbal said, Patek on one occasion quarreled with JI cell leader Sayid Ali, nicknamed Dulmatin, over the latter’s plan to explode bombs at several locations as a form of revenge against Indonesian security forces.
“Although Sayid was the leader, Patek was strongly against the idea. It was because those targeted points are Islam-majority areas and he reminded us that our enemy is not civil society,” he continued.
Mass casualty attacks by al-Qaeda-linked extremists jolted Indonesia during the past decade, but the capture or killing of key JI leaders as well as public revulsions against the carnage has blunted the trend.
Al-Qaeda itself is believed to be in disarray, suffering the loss of personnel and a steadily deteriorating reputation among Muslims. Thursday’s testimony came amid revelations that Osama bin Laden himself was deeply concerned about the trend during the months leading up to his death in May 2011.
A selection of memos found at the bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideout was released Thursday by the US government. In one document, dating from 2010, bin Laden expresses alarm that al-Qaeda has become stigmatised because of its role in killing thousands of Muslim civilians.
A 2006 letter addressed by a “loving brother whom you know and who knows you” complains that the word jihad has fallen into disrepute due to al-Qaeda’s tactics, and calls for bin Laden to change his ways.
Although Patek was captured in Abbottabad in January 2011, not far from bin Laden’s compound, it has not yet been established whether or not he had tried to contact the al-Qaeda leader.
Thursday’s testimony provided possible insights into the shadowy world of militant extremists, who cross borders to wage religious warfare. The MILF fighters he met included Malaysians as well as Indonesians and Filipinos, Iqbal told the court.
He said he was taught to use many kinds of weapons after arriving at the MILF camp.
“While I was there, I was trained to use arm guns such as M16 rifles, long rifles and also mortars, to read a map and also about war strategy. MILF provided all the arm guns with a registration number. Therefore if we left the camp, we had to return it back to them,” he said. “However, we were not trained to build any bomb at all.”
Patek often gave briefings to Indonesian volunteers with the MLIF, especially on the topics of war strategy and the purpose of jihad. He believed jihad should only be carried out in areas of conflict, Iqbal said.
The trial proceedings will resume on Monday.

Muslim leader: terrorists must stop undermining Islam’s image

Khabar Southeast Asia
A witness at the trial of Umar Patek said extremists have taken the lives of innocent Muslims and are undermining Islam.
Attacks by radical extremists have cost the lives of Muslims and tarnished the image of Islam, a Muslim community leader from Kuta testified Thursday (April 24th) before the West Jakarta District Court during the trial of Umar Patek.
Speaking of his emotions following the 2002 bomb attack in Kuta that cost the lives of over two hundred people, he recalled the story of one victim, Mohammad Taufik.
“Taufik was such a genuinely nice, religious man and he had actually planned to perform umrah [pilgrimage] in 2003 with his wife. They had already paid the expenses. But unfortunately he was killed in the 2002 Bali bomb attack,” Agus Bambang Priyatno, the community leader, told the court.
He said such acts of violence have undermined Islam’s reputation as a religion of peace.
“The 2002 Bali Bomb attack has been destroying my religion’s image across the globe. It has been creating a bad image that Islam is identical with terrorism and violence,” he said.
“Therefore I’m demanding to all the radical Muslims to stop any violent action and terror attacks conducted in the name of Islam,” Agus said.
“It will destroy Islam’s image as if Islam is a religion, which is identified with terrorism and violent actions.”
“Besides that, this is also destroying Indonesia’s credibility as a moderate Muslim nation internationally.”
Patek, alleged to have played a key role in the bombings, faces terrorism charges that could bring him the death penalty should he be convicted. He appeared to listen attentively to the testimony by Agus.
Patek then briefly responded, saying that he too regretted the incident’s impact.
Also testifying was Ruqqayah, Patek’s wife. She said she knew nothing about Patek’s relations with the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and was in the dark about her husband’s alleged role in the Bali bombing or the Christmas Eve bombings two years earlier, in which 18 died.
“My husband did not tell me anything about it,” she said, describing herself as an obedient wife who always did what she was asked to do.
Even when the couple fled to Pakistan, using aliases to conceal their identities from authorities, she did not know why they were using false names and did not ask her husband to explain, Ruqqayah said.
“I just did what I was asked by my husband and I did not question anything about it,” she said, describing Patek as a genuinely nice man who loved her.
“When we arrived in Pakistan, we were picked up by a man whom I just met for very first time, and we went to Lahore then continued the trip to Multan. And I did not know where we went next and we just lived there for couple months until we were arrested,” she continued.
“In that city [Abbottabad], we were told to not leave the house at all by the person, whose name I did not know. So we just stayed inside to study the Qur’an and pray a lot,” Ruqqayah testified. Following her testimony, Presiding Judge Encep Yuliadi allowed the couple to embrace each other.
The trial proceedings will resume on Thursday.