One of the bombmakers in the Bali terror attack that killed 202 people could be freed on parole this month after his sentence was reduced.
Umar Patek was jailed for 20 years in 2012 after being found guilty of helping mix the bombs used to inflict mass murder at two tourist bars on the island in 2002.
He was a member of al-Qaeda-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, and was also sentenced for his part in bombing churches in Jakarta.
Patek has been given a five-month cut in his sentence to mark Indonesia’s independence day, making him now eligible for parole, said Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese.
It’s one of several cuts in his sentence he’s received, but it’s not yet been confirmed whether the parole will be granted.
Eighty-eight Australians, 38 Indonesians and 23 Britons were among those killed when a suicide bomber triggered his device inside Paddy’s Irish bar on 12 October 2002.
Seconds later, as people fled into the street, a van stuffed with explosives was detonated at the nearby Sari Club.
Hundreds of people in the bustling Kuta area were badly burned in the attack, which overwhelmed local hospitals.
“They (Indonesia) informed us of that decision, and we informed them of our view of that decision,” Prime Minister Albanese said.
“They have a system whereby when anniversaries occur, quite often sentences are reduced and commuted for people.
“But when it comes to someone who’s committed such a heinous crime, a designer and maker of a bomb designed to kill people, to kill and maim, then we have a very strong view,” he said.
Mr Albanese said the potential release would cause further distress to families of the victims and that he would continue to lobby the Indonesian government on the issue.
Patek was jailed after going on the run for nine years with a $1m reward on his head. He was finally captured in 2011 in the same Pakistani town where Osama bin Laden was killed – Abbottabad.
Three men were later executed for their part in the attack.
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