From The Gathering Storm Blog

Lawyers defending their clients – and sometimes themselves – sometimes reach into their bag of convoluted logic to come up with some of the most absurd defenses. Remember the Twinkie defense and Slippery Willie’s “It depends on what the meaning of the word IS is”.

The tradition of verbal gymnastics continues in the area of terrorism. Defense lawyers for the 2002 Bali bombers who murdered 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens and another 209 people were injured, are distraught that such a hideous crime committed by their clients is called terrorism. They claim the Bali bombings were not acts of terrorism but simple everyday crimes.

But that’s not enough for the sharks in this case. They also want – and I quote – “their good names rehabilitated.”

THE 2002 Bali bombings were not terrorist acts but “ordinary crimes” and the three men awaiting execution for the atrocity should have their convictions quashed “and their good names rehabilitated”, lawyers argued yesterday.

The defence will rely on a 2004 decision in Indonesia’s Constitutional Court that only “extraordinary crimes” — which include terrorism — can be tried under retrospectively enacted legislation.

The anti-terrorism law under which the men were convicted was passed after the October 2002 attacks that left 202 people, including 88 Australians, dead.

Prosecutors want the trio to be tried under the crimes act, with any conviction still carrying the death sentence. Judges baulked yesterday at a request to send the matter to Java, where the three men are being held, saying they would hand down a decision on that matter on Thursday.

Prosecutors in the stifling courtroom were outraged at proceedings, describing terrorism “something that is extremely cruel”.

What’s the matter with the prosecution? Don’t they know that at the very least, the Bali bombers are freedom fighters and at the most were pursuing an anti-Islamic activity?

Analysts including terrorism commentator Sidney Jones say the men’s death sentences will almost certainly be carried out, even though the Government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono fears a Muslim backlash once the fatal shots are fired.

Backlash? Not a celebration of justice being served but riots in the street because the law was obeyed? Muslims think they are above the laws of the infidel?

Why doesn’t that surprise me?

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