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Court jails Aceh rebel leader for 16 years

Agence France Presse - October 19, 2004

Banda Aceh – A senior separatist rebel on Tuesday was given 16 years in jail for treason in Indonesia's war-hit Aceh province.

Sayed Mustafa, a Free Aceh Movement rebel coordinator for southern and western Aceh, was also found guilty of illegal weapons possesion, said chief judge Azhari of the Tapaktuan district court in South Aceh.

Sayed, 42, purchased more than 100 automatic weapons and ammunition using Rp4 billion ($440,092) transferred by four regional rebel commanders in March 1999, the court said.

It said Mustafa had been a rebel since 1999 and had received military training in Libya. Mustafa's lawyers appealed the sentence.

The Free Aceh Movement has been fighting since 1976 for independence for the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island.