MANILA, Philippines: Philippine immigration officials said Wednesday they have deported an Indonesian who served more than a decade in prison after being convicted of possessing explosives at Manila’s international airport.
Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison said Agus Dwikarna was given a passport by the Indonesian Embassy and flown back to his homeland last month on board a chartered plane with security escorts.
A Philippine court convicted Dwikarna of carrying C-4 plastic explosives and bomb parts at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport as he and two other Indonesians were leaving Manila for Bangkok in 2002. He was sentenced to a prison term of 10 to 17 years. Dwikarna’s companions were briefly detained but later cleared by Philippine police of any charges and allowed to fly back to Indonesia.
Philippine police have also accused Dwikarna of membership in Jemaah Islamiyah, an Al-Qaeda-linked southeast Asian group blamed for the deadly 2002 Bali nightclub bombings in Indonesia.
Dwikarna denied the charges, saying the explosives may have been placed by Philippine authorities in his luggage. His lawyer said his client was a businessman and not a terrorist.
Indonesian authorities have also suspected Dwikarna of leading a little-known militant group, Laskar Jundullah, which has been blamed for past bomb attacks in Indonesia.
It wasn’t clear if he faced criminal charges in Indonesia.