May 14, 2008 / 12:06 AM / in 10 years

Bali bomber on death row marries ex-wife by proxy

LAMONGAN, Indonesia (Reuters) - An Islamic militant on death row for the 2002 Bali bombings was married to his ex-wife on Monday but he was not present at the wedding.

<p>Convicted Bali bomber Amrozi smiles during a family visit in Batu prison, Nusa Kambangan Island in this November 22, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Beawiharta</p>

“This is the strangest wedding I have ever attended. The groom is not present,” said Muhammad Hasan, the militant’s former Koranic teacher who gave a sermon at the ceremony that lasted for an hour.

Amrozi, dubbed the “Smiling Bomber” for his constant grin during his trial, had wanted to hold the reunion ceremony at the island prison in Central Java where he is being held, but the authorities rejected the request.

Instead, his half brother, Ali Fauzi, took the vows on his behalf in a small village in East Java province.

The bride, Ria Rahmawati, who was wearing a black Muslim dress and veil, declined to make any comment. She first married Amrozi 22 years ago and the couple has a son. Amrozi is still married to another woman.

About 50 people attended the ceremony, during which traditional Javanese soup rawon and plain water were served. A copy of the Koran served as a dowry.

Amrozi, his brother Mukhlas and Imam Samudra face death by firing squad for their role in the two nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, including foreign tourists and Indonesians.

The bombings and several other deadly attacks in recent years have been blamed on the Southeast Asian militant Muslim group Jemaah Islamiah.

Indonesia’s Supreme Court has rejected the convicts’ final appeals and they have said they will not seek presidential clemency, making it likely the executions will now go ahead.

Indonesia does not normally announce dates for executions.

In a statement read out by their lawyers last year, the Bali bombers said their blood would “become the light for the faithful ones and burning hell fire for the infidels and hypocrites” if they were executed.

Reporting by Herry Retnowati; Writing by Ahmad Pathoni; Editing by Ed Davies and Valerie Lee

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