The West

Mass murder charge for alleged Bali bomber
Terrorist suspect Umar Patek.

Alleged Indonesian terrorist Umar Patek will face a charge of mass murder in relation to the 2002 Bali bombings, and five other charges relating to other incidents.

Prosecutors handed over a 50-page indictment on Monday to the West Jakarta District Court, where Patek is expected to face trial later this month.

Authorities, including a special counter-terrorism unit with the Indonesian Attorney-General’s Department, have been working on building a watertight case against Patek since his extradition from Pakistan in August last year.

Patek, who has allegedly already admitted to a role in the Bali bombings, won’t be charged with terrorism offences over the 2002 attacks because Indonesia’s tough anti-terrorism laws, introduced in 2003, cannot be applied retrospectively.

However, he will face a charge of premeditated murder over the nightclub attacks 10 years ago that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

The murder charge will extend to a series of bombings of churches in a number of Indonesian cities on Christmas Eve in 2000 and will carry the death penalty.

A copy of the indictment, seen by AAP, lists a total of six charges.

The charges are conspiracy to commit terrorism, harbouring information on terrorism, premeditated murder, identification fraud, document fraud and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Prosecutors expect to present evidence from up to 80 witnesses during the trial, including testimony from Australian and American survivors who lived through the horror of the Bali attacks.

A team of 15 prosecutors will present the case, with the trial expected to run until late May or early June.

Patek was captured in Pakistan in January 2011 after almost a decade at the top of southeast Asia’s most wanted list.

The trial will be conducted amid heavy security, with authorities concerned about the possibility of reprisal attacks from Patek’s old network, which they believe may still be active in Indonesia.

Patek, who trained in Afghanistan in the 1990s, spent almost ten years on the run before his capture in January in Abbottabad, the same Pakistani town where US forces killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last May.

The West Australian

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