Saturday, March 13, 2010
Families of victims and survivors of the 2002 Bali Bombings
ROAD TO DEATH
12 October 2002 = Twin blasts in Bali’s popular Kuta Beach nightclub area kill 202 people, including 88 Australians, and wound hundreds more.
5 November 2002 = The first suspect, mechanic Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, is detained in Tenggulun village, East Java.
21 November 2002 = The accused mastermind of the bombings, Iman Samudra, is arrested in Merak Port, West Java.
4 December 2002 = The alleged leader of regional terrorist Jemaah Islamiah and senior operative Mukhlas, aka Ali Gufron and Amrozi’s older brother, is arrested in Central Java.
12 May 2003 = Amrozi goes on trial in Denpasar District Court, charged with plotting the terrorist attacks and buying the explosives. He is nicknamed the smiling assassin because of the glee he expresses about the carnage he caused.
June 2003 = Separate trials begin for Samudra and Mukhlas.
4 August 2003 = Twelve people are killed when an Islamic extremist drives an explosives-packed car into Jakarta’s Marriott Hotel.
7 August 2003 = Amrozi is found guilty and sentenced to death.
10 September 2003 = Samudra is found guilty and sentenced to death.
16 September 2003 = The High Court in Bali rejects Amrozi appeal.
2 October 2003 = Mukhlas is found guilty and sentenced to death.
17 November 2003 = The High Court in Bali rejects Samudra’s appeal.
3 January 2004 = The High Court in Bali Rejects Mukhlas’s appeal.
July 2004 = Indonesia’s Constitutional Court rules that a retrospective anti-terrorism law introduced after the Bali Bombings, and used to convict the three bombers, is unconstitutional. But officials say the bombers’s conviction stand because the court’s finding does not apply retrospectively.
9 September 2004 = Twelve people die when an explosive-filled van explodes in front of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.
1 October 2005 = Three suicide bombers launch Bali’s second terrorist attacks in Jimbaran Bay and Kuta, killing 20 people, including four Australians. An injured person is evacuated from the Australian embassy in Jakarta.
October 2005 = The 2002 bombers are moved to Central Java after more than 1000 protesters storm their Bali prison, demanding their immediate execution, following the second Bali bombings.
21 August 2006 = Indonesia officially delays the executions after their lawyers flag a final appeal, known as a judicial review.
7 December 2006 = The Bombers’ lawyers lodge what will be their first of three eventual Supreme Court challenges.
July 2008 = Indonesia’s Supreme Court dismisses a request for a third judicial review, saying the bombers were entitled to only one judicial review, clearing the way for their execution.
8 November 2008 = Mukhlas, his younger brother Amrozi and Iman Samudra are executed.
Herald Sun, Monday 10 November 2008
Fears, Relief as victims mourned
Survivors happy terror trio gone
As word spread of the executions of the three Bali bombing conspirators, a Muslim survivor expressed relief that the men responsible had finally been brought to justice.
“I am very happy to hear this news,” said Tumini, who still bore the scars of severe burns to much of her body.
“For six years, I have been waiting for this,” she said in Bali.
“My only hope now is that no more of their family – their sibling and children – will follow in their footsteps.”
Another Indonesian survivor, Chusnul Chotinah, who also was badly burned in the bombings, said she hoped the executions would make Bali a safer country for tourists and she was happy the men responsible for her lifelong scars were dead.
“I am very satisfied and happy, and gave thanks to God that the (Indonesian) Government has enforced the law in this country,” she said.
The bombing memorial site in Kuta was busy with tourists and Indonesians yesterday.
Melbourne man John Galgano, 34, said his relatives questioned his decision to go ahead with his two-week holiday in Bali.
“I said I’ll just keep to safer areas and the beach, and stay away from the big discos,” he said after seeing the memorial.
“This is my eighth trip to Bali, and the first since October 2002, when I got home a week before the bombing.”
Balinese survivors and relatives of victims were expected to gather at Kuta to pray, sing and dance for peace.
Bali bomb victims say the bombers’ “smiling faces” will stop haunting them and they can move on with their lives after the terrorists were executed.
But some survivors and families of murdered Australians said they feared reprisal attacks from Indonesian radicals and prayed no more people got swept into violence.
Others said the execution served little purpose because it would not bring back their loved ones killed in the 2002 nightclubs blasts.
Dale Atkin was in the Sari Club when it was ripped apart, and said he “lost it” when he heard about the executions. “I broke down and couldn’t believe it. It’s been a hell of a few years. This is a big load off my shoulders,” Mr. Atkin said. “I’m glad I won’t have to look at their smiling faces and see them grow old.”
The execution was met in Australia with a mix of joy, relief, anger and sadness.
Former North Melbourne and Carlton football hard nut Mick Martyn, who was injured in the blasts, said he hoped the executions would be a strong deterrent to other people considering violent acts.
“If people think they can do this and get away with it, the precedent has been set that if you are involved, these are the consequences,” he said.
“It’s sending a message out that if you do acts of terrorism that’s what you will be faced with.”
Raelene Allen, whose daughter Belinda was killed in the bombings, said it was a relief she would never have to see on TV nor hear the bombers again.
“No more smiling faces back at me,” she said.
Sydney’s Collette Murray and Renee Fowler, whose mother Linda Makawana died in the attacks, rejoiced at the terrorists’ death by cracking open a bottle of champagne as they shared their emotions with family and friends of other Bali bomb victims.
Sari Club survivor Sophie Karagiannis said it had been hard to relive the pain of 2002 as the firing squad date had come closer.
“It would have been easier if it had been done earlier, sooner after the bombing happened,” Miss Karagiannis said.
“I have been in tears but not really knowing how it has been affecting me, it’s been a very confusing few weeks.
“During the six years, I have not given them too much thought, it’s better to live your life.”
Sue Cooper lost her brother, Paul Hussey, in the bombings and said opponents of the death penalty should walk in her shoes for a day.
“They have not suffered the pain of a loved one being murdered by a terrorist bomb,” she said.
“They have no idea of the pain we suffer everyday of our lives and how we have been affected.”
But some bombing victims said the execution made no difference to their lives because it would not bring back their loved ones.
Glenn Ogier lost his wife, Sue, at the Sari Club and said he had tried not to link her death with the bombers’ fate.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, it doesn’t change what happened and won’t bring them back,” Mr. Ogier said.
“Every day it’s in my mind and I struggle with it. No matter what you doing your life it’s still there, and it always will be.
“I just hope it doesn’t start another wave of negativity in the world, that’s a risk now.”
Peter Hughes, who suffered burns to more than half his body in the Paddy’s Bar Blast, said he now had some closure.
“I applaud the Indonesian Government for following it through and hopefully these radical types take it as a lesson and think about the consequences of their actions before carrying out these acts of terrorism in future,” Mr. Hughes said.
Amanda McIlroy, secretary of Perth’s Kingsley Football Club, which lost seven players in the blasts, said while she did not agree with the death penalty, “at the moment I feel that these men were unrepentant mass murderers and their legal system has decided their fate.”
“I think the ongoing uncertainty of not knowing when the executions would take place, and whether their appeals will be successful, has caused a great deal of distress to survivors and families of the victims,” she said.
“I’m not feeling any satisfaction that these people have lost their lives, I’m not feeling any sense of revenge.”
Sydney woman Maria Kotronakis, who lost two sisters and two cousins, cried tears of relief.
“We’re very happy … we’ve waited a very long time for this and this is our justice,” she said.
“We lost four beautiful girls that did nothing wrong. There was nothing they ever did wrong to have been executed the way they were.”
Erik de Haart, a member of Sydney’s Coogee Dolphins football club, who lost six mates in the bombings said, “We can close this chapter of the book and move on a bit.”
But he said the grief for his lost mates would never end.
“All we’re left with is our memories and our thoughts of these guys,” he said.
Georgia Lysaght, 27, of Wollongong in NSW, who lost older brother Scott Lysaght, said her family never felt vengeful because nothing would bring him back.
“It doesn’t make me feel that justice has been served. The only just thing to do would be able to see my brother again, and that is not going to happen,” she said.
Herald Sun, Monday 10 November 2008
Deaths offer chance to move on with life
John Croxford was relieved to see the Bali bombers die after losing his wife Donna in the Sari Club explosion.
Left to his own to bring up daughter Breanna, who was born with acute difficulties, Mr. Croxford said he supported the death penalty only in extreme cases.
He compared the bombers with “mongrel dogs”.
“They didn’t die as martyrs. It’s just like taking something not very worthwhile and getting rid of it,” he said.
“Anyone that harms children, I think they should be taken off the earth,” he said.
Breanna was four when Donna was killed, and Mr. Croxford used to dread the days she would ask what happened to mum.
Now he hopes all the survivors and relatives can move on with their lives. “I just hope everyone can get rid of the anger and hate in themselves, myself included,” Mr. Croxford said.
“(The past few weeks) were basically like revisiting a nightmare, revisiting it over and over and over again, what we have in our mind that we are trying to shut out. It just kept getting in our faces.”
Mr. Croxford said the memory of his wife would live with him forever, and he hoped that no others would have to suffer his family’s fate.
“I just hope there won’t be any repercussions after the executions. There might be other idiots who want to go out there and do something now,” he said.
“We just want to get on with it and have a fantastic life.”
Former Adelaide magistrate Brian Deegan - who lost his son Josh in the bombings and remains a staunch opponent of the death penalty - said he was full of trepidation about reprisal attacks.
“I’m very concerned about that. There’s no shortage around the world of persons that are prepared to commit suicide to achieve a result.” He said.
He continued to grieve for his son. “The tears don’t roll quite as often, that absolute gut ache has diminished a bit. But they don’t go away.”
The bombers were also denounced by Indonesia’s top Muslim organization in a bid to defuse tensions.
The head of Majelis Ulama Indonesia said the bombers did not die as martyrs.
“To die as a martyr is impossible – people who kill cannot be said to be martyrs unless is war,” Umar Shihab said.
“We are not at war. We are in peace and what they did, they killed Muslims.”