Second Wife of Indonesian Militant Gets 2-Year Sentence

Arie Firdaus
170504-ID-santoso-wife-620.jpg Jumiatun enters a courtroom at North Jakarta District Court to hear the verdict in her terrorism case, May 4, 2017.
Arie Firdaus/BenarNews

An Indonesian court on Thursday sentenced Santoso’s second wife to two years and three months in prison on grounds she had aided and helped hide the former top militant before he was shot by security forces last year.

Jumiatun, alias Umi Delima, 22, was one of three women who lived with the Eastern Indonesian Mujahiden (MIT) band of militants in the jungles of Sulawesi.

North Jakarta District Court Judge Abdul Rosyad ordered a punishment nine months shorter than the three years requested by prosecutors because, he said, the young woman was following her husband’s orders.

“She was compelled to obey her husband,” Rosyad said.

Her lawyer, Andi Nurul Askin, agreed.

“For a person like Jumiatun, the word of the husband is an irrefutable command,” he told BenarNews, adding he was satisfied with the outcome of the trial.

After the sentence was announced, Jumiatun, surrounded by armed police, was whisked away to a prison van. Before the trial, she said she felt calm as she awaited the verdict.

“Praying for what is best from Allah,” the petite, veiled woman told BenarNews.

Jumiatun married Santoso in 2012 after being introduced to him by her Arabic language teacher at Pondok Pesantren Al Madinah in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara. Her parents did not agree to the match, but her older brother gave consent.

Her first husband, a militant from Bima, had been killed by police.

Jumiatun was arrested on July 23, 2016, in Poso Pesisir district of Poso Regency in Central Sulawasi province, four days after her husband was shot dead by security forces.


Also on Thursday, Rosyad sentenced Santoso follower Muhammad Unul Usman Paise to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of conspiracy and criminal acts of terrorism, offenses that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.

“Facts of the case show that the accused had a role in several killings,” Rosyad said.

Unul was involved in the killing of two police in October 2012 and the killing of a Poso resident in September 2014, Rosyad said.

Through his lawyer, Unul said that he accepted the verdict. But later, speaking to BenarNews outside the courtroom, he gave a different response.

MIT member Muhammad Unul Usman Paise enters the courtroom at North Jakarta District Court, May 4, 2017. (Arie Firdaus/BenarNews)

“If they reduced it to three years, I wouldn’t accept it,” he said, adding that the trial had a narrow view of justice.

“In Poso, a lot of our relatives were butchered, they didn’t say anything about that,” he said with a raised voice.

The 25-year-old appeared restless during the hearing and was unable to sit still or focus his gaze on one thing.

He did not deny involvement in several killings in Poso and said he did not regret them either.

“My own brother was killed by police,” he said.

Unul was arrested in Poso Pesisir district of Poso Regency, Central Sulawesi province, on June 16, 2016, after spending about four years with MIT.

Four of the group’s members have been convicted and sentenced to prison. Trials of other MIT members are under way.

A joint army-police security operation is ongoing in Poso Regency even though only nine MIT members are believed to be at large.

More than a dozen MIT members including Santoso and six Uyghurs were killed in 2016. In 2015, seven were killed and 31 captured.

Four months before his death, the U.S. government named Santoso a “specially designated global terrorist”and the MIT a specially designated global terrorist entity.

Analysts described the group as remants of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the Al-Qaeda-linked network responsible for the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings that killed hundreds. Santoso had declared allegiance to the Islamic State terror group in an audio recording released by the MIT in July 2014.


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