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Alleged Sampang Muslim Shia attack mastermind charged with murder, assault
Roies Al Hukama, the defendant in the case of the attack against Shia followers that killed two Shiites, in Sampang, East Java, stands trial at Surabaya District Court yesterday. The 36-year-old man, who was charged with murder, assault and participation in a crime, denied all accusations leveled against him. (Wahyoe Boediwardhana/The Jakarta Post
Publication Date : 05-12-2012
Roies Al Hukama, 36, an Indonesian Muslim Sunni religious leader who allegedly masterminded the deadly attack on Shia followers in Sampang, East Java, stood trial yesterday at the Surabaya District Court.
He was charged under Article 338 of the Criminal Code on murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if proven guilty. Prosecutors also charged him with articles 354 on assault, 170 on group assault and vandalism, and 55 and 56 on participation in a crime.
In his indictment, prosecutor Rahmad Hari Basuki said that Al Hukama repeatedly provoked his followers to attack and kill Shiites. "The defendant also incited hatred against Shia followers," Basuki told the court, which was presided over by judge Ainur Rofiq.
Basuki added that Al Hukama provoked his Sunni followers, the majority of Sampang residents, and said that Shiites were infidels during his regular sermons. "His sermons caused hatred against the Shia community to grow," he said.
Al Hukama denied all the accusations.
"All what the prosecutors have said isn't true. I will talk to my lawyer and write my own defence statement at the next hearing," he said.
Muhammad Ra'uf Syah, Al Hukama's lawyer, said that the indictment was weak and lacked supporting evidence.
Al Hukama allegedly provoked hundreds of people to destroy and burn the house of Shia leader Tajul Muluk, his own brother, in August.
Two Shiites died during the attack. The incident was the second in less than a year, following an attack in December last year.
Police named three suspects in the case, namely Al Hukama, Salikin and Musrikah. Salikin began his trial last month and has been charged with articles 170 and 187 of the Criminal Code, respectively on assault and arson. The two articles carry prison sentences of 15 years.