Bali bomber- Aris Sumarsono or better known as Zulkarnaen- eluded arrest for 18 years. He was captured in 2020 and has finally been sentenced to 15 years in an Indonesian prison.

Zulkarnaen was found guilty of terrorism crimes, including hiding information about the 2002 Bali Bombings and harbouring suspects.

The Bali Bombings in October 2002, killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Prosecutors demanded a life sentence for Zulkarnaen, however, this result was not able to be achieved. A panel of three Judges in East Jakarta District Court were forced to ignore the first charge preferred against Zulkarnaen – on a legal basis – as the statute of limitations had expired.

Indonesia’s Criminal Code stipulates that authority to prosecute criminals is abolished after 18 years. Meaning because Zulkarnaen evaded arrest for 18 years – he cannot be prosecuted for some charges.

Prosecutors said they would appeal to a higher court.

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time allowed, for parties in a dispute to bring legal proceedings. The date begins from the time of the alleged offence.

Cases involving severe crimes, like murder, crimes against humanity or war crimes generally do not have a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations however, does apply under Indonesian law for terrorism charges.

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