Indonesia releases Bali attacks bombmaker on parole

The move comes despite the opposition of Australia’s Prime Minister, who described Umar Patek as “abhorrent”.
Indonesia releases Bali attacks bombmaker on parole
Umar Patek (AP)

A bombmaker in the 2002 Bali attacks that killed 202 people has been released from an Indonesian prison on parole after serving just half of his 20-year sentence.

The move comes despite the opposition of Australia’s Prime Minister, who described Umar Patek as “abhorrent”.

Patek was a leading member of the al Qaida-linked network Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been blamed for the bombings at two nightclubs in Kuta Beach 20 years ago.

Indonesian authorities have said Patek was successfully reformed in prison and they will use him to influence other militants to turn away from terrorism.

Umar Patek served half of a 20-year sentence (AP)

Patek, 55, whose real name is Hisyam bin Alizein, received a total of 33 months of sentence reductions, which are often given to prisoners on major holidays, said Rika Aprianti, a spokeswoman for the Corrections Department at the justice ministry.

Most recently, he was granted a five-month reduction on August 17, Indonesia’s independence day.

That meant he has fulfilled the parole requirement of serving two-thirds of his current sentence, she said.

Patek was found guilty by the West Jakarta District Court of helping build a car bomb that was detonated by another person outside the Sari Club in Kuta, moments after a smaller bomb in a backpack was detonated by a suicide bomber inside the nearby Paddy’s Pub nightclub.

Australian leader Anthony Albanese described the bombmaker as ‘abhorrent’ (AP)

The attacks killed 202 people – mostly foreign tourists – including 88 Australians.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently described Patek as “abhorrent” and said his early release would cause further distress to Australians who were affected by the bombings.

Patek was sentenced to 20 years in prison a decade after the bombing.

He left Bali just before the attacks and spent nine years on the run, during which time he was considered one of Asia’s most wanted terror suspects.

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