|Horror over Bali
suspect's media circus
Staff and wires
Thursday, November 14, 2002 7:46 AM EST
Indonesian police chief Dai Bachtiar speaks to Amrozi in front of the press
|SYDNEY, Australia -- Australians have reacted with anger and dismay to images of a Bali bombing suspect waving and joking at a police media conference.|
While Prime Minister John Howard would not be drawn to comment on the scenes that played out in Denpasar on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told media he was horrified by what he saw.
"Their sort of ugly, sneering, amused attitude at the slaughter of innocent people is just horrific," Downer said Thursday.
Amrozi is a key suspect in the October 12 bombings in Bali which killed more than 180 people, around half of those Australians.
While he has allegedly confessed to being involved in the making of the bombs which ripped through the crowded Kuta tourist district, he says he was not in Bali when the explosions occurred.
Indonesian police, who are jointly investigating the bombing with Australia, paraded Amrozi before the media Wednesday.
Surrounded by laughing senior police officers, the suspect waved and smiled at photographers and at one stage pointed at Western journalists, saying in Indonesian they were the sort of people he wanted to kill.
'Not our way'
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty told Australian Associated Press the media conference was not the sort of thing that would be conducted by police in Australia.
"I guess it reminded me just whose jurisdiction this investigation is in," he said.
"Clearly it's not something that any Australian police commissioner would do, but it's not our system of justice and it's not our system of operating. "
Howard, for his part, told reporters he would not be drawn into a running commentary on the progress of the investigation.
"I'm sure I speak particularly for the families who've lost so much, their overriding goal would be to bring to justice the people who committed this awful thing," he said, adding that maximum cooperation and public harmony between the two countries was needed for this to happen.
Amrozi said Wednesday at the media conference that he was "delighted" the bomb exploded.
The comment came as Indonesian investigators named four more suspects in the deadly bombings, bringing the total number to seven.
A police spokesman added the names of Idris, Hudama -- also known as Imam Samudra -- Umar, and a second Umar to the official list of people investigators want to talk to. Indonesians often go by a single name.
Last week, police named Amrozi as the main suspect in the bombings and identified him as the owner of a van laden with explosives that blew up outside a packed nightclub.
Police also put forward Amrozi's brothers, Ali Imron and Ali Fauzi as suspects on Tuesday. They reportedly helped Amrozi plant the bombs that ripped through Bali's nightclub area.
Police are investigating a third brother of Amrozi, named Muchlas, believed to be a member of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an Islamic militant group the U.S. government says is a terror network linked to al Qaeda.
Intelligence officials tell CNN Muchlas is a known JI member.
According to intelligence documents obtained by CNN, Faiz abu Bakar Bafana, a JI suspect currently in Singapore's custody, admitted meeting Muchlas.
In his confession, Bafana said Muchlas would take over the responsibilities of Hambali, the leading terror suspect in Southeast Asia, as the regional leader of JI.
All the men involved have ties to Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the alleged spiritual leader of JI.
Ba'asyir is currently being held by Indonesian police, but has so far refused to answer any questions related to terrorism.
Up to 10 people may have carried out the attack, police have said.
-- CNN's Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa and The Associated Press contributed to this report
|Amrozi said he was 'delighted'
the bomb went off
|At the news conference, Amrozi pointed at Western jounalists, saying they were the sort of people he wanted to kill|