One of the perpetrators of the Bali terror attack that killed 202 people could be released on parole this month after his sentence is reduced.
Umar Patek was jailed for 20 years in 2012 after being found guilty of helping mix up bombs used to inflict mass murder at two tourist bars on the island in 2002.
He was a member of the al-Qaeda-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah and was also convicted for his role in the bombing of churches in Jakarta.
Patek was given a five-month reduced sentence to mark Indonesia’s Independence Day, which now makes him eligible for parole, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said.
It is one of several reductions in his sentence that he has received, but it has not yet been confirmed whether parole will be granted.
Eighty-eight Australians, 38 Indonesians and 23 Britons were among those killed when a suicide bomber set off his device inside Irish bar Paddy’s on October 12, 2002.
Seconds later, as people fled down the street, a van packed with explosives exploded at the nearby Sari Club.
Hundreds of people in the bustling Kuta district were seriously burned in the attack, which overwhelmed local hospitals.
“They (Indonesia) informed us of this decision, and we informed them of our views on this decision,” Prime Minister Albanese said.
“They have a system where on birthdays often sentences are reduced and commuted for people.
“But when it comes to someone who has committed such a heinous crime, a designer and manufacturer of a bomb designed to kill people, to kill and maim, then we have a very strong opinion,” he said. -he declares.
Mr Albanese said the potential release would cause further distress to the families of the victims and that he would continue to lobby the Indonesian government on the issue.
Patek was jailed after being on the run for nine years with a $1 million reward on his head. He was eventually captured in 2011 in the same Pakistani city where Osama bin Laden was killed – Abbottabad.
Three men were later executed for their part in the attack.