Asia-Pacific

Indonesia court upholds Abu Bakar Ba'asyir jail term

Radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir talks to reporters from behind bars of a holding cell at a district court in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 9 May 2011
Image caption Ba'asyir was jailed in June for giving support to militants in Aceh province

Indonesia's highest court has upheld the radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir's 15-year jail term.

He was jailed in June for backing an Islamist militant training camp, but last October the High Court reduced his sentence to nine years on appeal.

The Supreme Court has now overturned that ruling, saying Ba'asyir committed "terrorist acts".

Ba'asyir is seen as a spiritual leader of militant Islam in Indonesia, but has always denied involvement in terrorism.

In March 2011, the 73-year old preacher was convicted of giving support to militants in Aceh province who were plotting to impose Sharia law in Indonesia through a campaign of violence and murder. He later received a 15-year term.

Most analysts agree that Ba'asyir has been the spiritual leader of the military jihadi network Jemaah Islamiah for a number of years, but he was cleared of involvement with the group after a trial in 2003.

Last week, theUnited States officially labelledJemaah Anshorut Tauhid - the group founded by Ba'asyir in 2008 - a foreign terrorist organisation.

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