Muslim Leader Linked To Jakarta Bombing Threatens To Sue President
A local Muslim leader on Saturday threatened to bring Indonesia's president to court if he failed to apologize within three days for accusing him of involvement in a bomb blast at the Jakarta stock exchange, a report said.
Ali Baaqil, a leader of the Front for the Defense of Islam, was quoted by the state Antara news agency as challenging President Abdurrahman Wahid to provide evidence of his links to Wednesday's bomb attack.
The bombing, in the underground parking lot of the exchange building, left 10 dead and 27 injured.
"This accusation is so cruel that there's no other way for me than take a stand and fight the slander and injustice against me by any means," he was quoted as saying by Antara.
Baaqil said he was in central Java to visit his parents when the bomb explosion occurred.
"The baseless accusation hurt me so deeply," he said.
"I have always preached peace like the Prophet (Muhammad) did. I will never do the things I have been accused of," he added.
The Front for the Defense of Islam has been involved in several attacks on establishments that sell liquor and on the national Human Rights Commission headquarters, accusing the body of bias against Islam.
Wahid, a respected Muslim scholar, announced at a Jakarta mosque Friday he had ordered Baaqil's arrest along with that of the youngest son of former president Suharto, "Tommy" Hutomo Mandala Putra.
Tommy presented himself to Jakarta headquarters Saturday for questioning, but police said they did not have enough evidence against him to make an arrest.
The president said the arrest orders were in connection with recent bombings, saying, "there are enough reasons to arrest ...and to avoid further events like the stock exchange bomb."
Jakarta has been rife with speculation that Suharto supporters were behind the bomb attack, the latest in a series that have rocked the city.
Twice blasts have erupted on the eve of sessions of the former dictator's ongoing corruption trial.
In July a bomb exploded at the Attorney General's Office hours after state prosecutors questioned Tommy at the building in relation to the corruption case against his father.
Earlier it was reported that police were turned away Friday from Baaqil's central Jakarta home.
The Satunet online news service said two police came to Baaqil's Jakarta home at 1:00 p.m. (0600 GMT), just after Friday prayers, but neighbors said he had refused to meet them because he was resting after a trip -- JAKARTA(AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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