Trial in Burma Embassy Plot Begins in Indonesia

By The Associated Press 6 November 2013

JAKARTA — One of the suspected militants who plotted to attack the Burma Embassy in Indonesia went on trial Wednesday on charges of terrorism that could result in a death sentence.

Prosecutors told the South Jakarta District Court that Separiano, 29, and his group prepared five bombs to attack the Burma Embassy prior to a planned May 3 protest by hundreds of hard-line Muslims at the mission.

He was arrested hours before the protest while riding a motorbike with another suspect on their way to the embassy in Jakarta. Police seized five homemade bombs from a backpack they were carrying. Other explosive materials were found later at their rented house in the capital.

Days later, police arrested three other alleged group members, including Sigit Indrajit, the alleged mastermind.

In the indictment, prosecutors charged Separiano with violating anti-terrorism laws, which carries a maximum penalty of death.

“They wanted to bomb the embassy because of anger over Myanmar’s treatment of Muslims,” said prosecutor Susilo, who like Separiano and many Indonesians, uses a single name.

He said the group wanted to retaliate against the country for attacks there on Rohingya Muslims. The four others alleged to be part of the plot are expected to go on trial later this week.

Sectarian violence in Buddhist-majority Burma has killed scores, and thousands of Muslims have been driven from their homes. Members of the Rohingya ethnic group in particular face severe discrimination. They are considered to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite the fact many were born in Burma.

Indonesia has been battling terrorists since the 2002 bombings on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.