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Bali bombing verdict no surprise, says Goff

Bali bombing verdict no surprise, says Goff

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed news that Imam Samudra has been found guilty of plotting last October’s Bali bombings.

A court in Denpasar, Bali, today sentenced Samudra to death for his part in the two nightclub attacks that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.

Last month, self-confessed Bali bomber Amrozi bin Nurhasyim was handed the same penalty. Two associates have been given 15-year sentences for lesser roles, while another 23 suspects are still on trial.

"The New Zealand government welcomes the verdict against Samudra. It comes as little surprise given the convincing evidence presented in court," Mr Goff said from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

"Samudra was the mastermind behind the attacks. He had admitted taking part but the evidence showed he was more than just a participant – he planned, organised and financed the attacks.

"His lack of remorse throughout the trial has reinforced the ruthless way he set about planning to cause maximum casualties to innocent people," Mr Goff said.

"I hope this verdict, and the other convictions that have already been handed down, provide some sense of comfort for those who lost friends or relatives in this tragedy, and that they feel in some way justice has been done."

Mr Goff said New Zealand did not support the death penalty but it was up to the Indonesian justice system to determine the appropriate penalty.

"As with the sentence handed down last month to Amrozi, we will not be raising concerns about the death penalty being applied in this case.

"The speed and effectiveness with which key suspects have been arrested and brought to account underlines the Indonesian government's commitment to fighting terrorism. New Zealand supports them in that fight.

"The verdicts that have been handed down to date in this case send a clear message to those who would engage in such activities," Mr Goff said.

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