UMAR Patek, the man who allegedly built the 700 kilogram bomb that ripped through two crowded Bali nightclubs in 2002, is unlikely to be executed, terrorism analysts said on the eve of his trial.
Patek is the last of the bombers to go on trial for his alleged role in the Bali bombing that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
If convicted of multiple terror-related charges, including premeditated murder, bomb-making and possession of firearms, Patek faces death by firing squad.
''The fact that they are throwing several criminal and terrorism charges at him is designed to maximise his sentence, but it's an unusual package,'' says Sidney Jones, a noted terrorism analyst from the International Crisis Group.
''I don't think he will get the death sentence, which is actually quite rare in Indonesia. He wasn't the mastermind behind the attack.''
Analysts say Patek could receive a more lenient sentence because he has co-operated with police and lacks the irreverence displayed by the three other Bali bombers.
Despite a $US1 million bounty on his head, Patek was on the run for nine years, until he was arrested by Pakistani security forces in January 2011 in Abbottabad - where Osama bin Laden was killed just a few months later.
A member of Jemaah Islamiyah and one of Indonesia's first-generation jihadists who cut his teeth during the Afghan jihad against the Soviets and in training camps in Pakistan and the Philippines, Patek commands considerable respect in extremist circles.
''This is beyond Bali,'' says former hardliner Noor Huda Ismail, who today runs an NGO that works on de-radicalising convicted terrorists. ''Patek is a goldmine of information about terror networks and logistics throughout south-east Asia.'' Given Patek's links with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Mr Ismail says that executing him could be counterproductive.
''If Patek is sentenced to death then we lose the chance to extract important information,'' he says. ''And if he gets the death sentence, he will definitely wage radical warfare in prison.''
If sentenced to death, Patek would also be afforded an appeal process that could take years to conclude.
With Indonesian prisons a fertile ground for breeding radicalism, Patek may find himself in a similar situation to the former Bali bombers, whose prolonged appeal process allowed them a platform from which to spread their jihadist views.
Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Mukhlas, whose real name was Ali Ghufron, were subsequently executed.
Ali Fauzi, one of Patek's closest friends, says a death sentence is only likely to add ''fuel to fire'' in the cause of Indonesia's fractured hardliners.
''The fact that he refused to participate in the military training camp in Aceh is one of the examples that he actually disagreed with launching jihad in Indonesia,'' Mr Fauzi told The Age in Patek's defence.
Since his extradition from Pakistan to Indonesia, Patek has claimed that he attempted to discourage the Bali bombers from going ahead with the attack.
Patek's trial starts amid heavy security today and is expected to run for the next four months.