Alleged Ringleader of Bali Blasts Named

BALI, Indonesia -- Indonesian police yesterday named a 35-year-old computer engineer from West Java as the ringleader in the Oct. 12 bomb blasts in Bali that killed almost 200 people, describing him as a radical intellectual who had received arms training in Afghanistan.

Investigators said Imam Samudra, who was sought by police in connection with previous bombings in Indonesia, decided to target a pair of nightclubs in the heart of Bali's entertainment district and helped build the bomb. Police said he is a member of Jemaah Islamiah, a radical network active in several Southeast Asian countries, and an associate of Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, the region's most wanted terror suspect.

Police also released sketches and information about six men wanted in connection with the Bali attack. So far, authorities have captured only one suspect.

During a meeting held by plotters in central Java on Aug. 8, Samudra decided to target the Sari Club and another nightspot popular with foreign tourists in hopes of killing many Americans, according to Bali police spokesman Y. Suyatmo.

Police also identified the man suspected of detonating the car bomb as Dulmatin, also known as Amar Usman, 32, an electronics expert from central Java, who allegedly set off the blast using vibrations from a cellular telephone.

Ellen Nakashima


Italian Ex-Premier Sentenced in Slaying

ROME -- An appeals court overturned the acquittal of former premier Giulio Andreotti in the 1979 slaying of a journalist and sentenced him to 24 years in prison.

The court also reversed a lower court's acquittal of a mobster, Gaetano Badalamenti, in the shooting death of the reporter outside his magazine office.

Badalamenti, who is already serving a 30-year prison term in the United States, also received a 24-year prison sentence for the slaying of the journalist, Mino Pecorelli.

Andreotti and Badalamenti can appeal the decision.

Associated Press


Peru Holds Referendum on Power Shift

LIMA, Peru -- President Alejandro Toledo followed through on his risky campaign promise, asking Peruvians in a referendum to shift power from the capital to the provinces by creating U.S.-style state governments.

The regional elections delivered on Toledo's pledge to give Peru's poor provinces the power to set their own policies and prosper with 25 new electoral regions bridging the gap between the central government and local municipalities.

But critics see the plan as a recipe for another Argentina, where independent provinces generated huge debts that contributed to the country's financial collapse.

Polls showed Toledo's party might not win even one of the new regions. An official count is expected today.

Associated Press


Iran's top leader has ordered the country's chief judge to review a death sentence against reformist scholar Hashem Aghajari, a lawyer for the scholar said. . . . Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott of Britain denied a newspaper report that three men arrested on terrorism charges were planning a poison gas attack on the London Underground. . . . North Korea's state-run radio reported that the communist country has nuclear weapons, but South Korean officials doubted the credibility of the report.

Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is greeted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace in Kabul. Ali, a "U.N. Messenger of Peace," arrived in Afghanistan for a three-day visit yesterday to focus attention on rebuilding the war-torn nation.