Indonesia paroles the bombmaker in Bali’s deadly 2002 attacks : NPR

Convicted fighter Umar Patek pauses as police reenact the scene of the 2002 Bali bombings, in Denpasar, Bali Indonesia, October 20, 2011.

Firdia Lisnawati/AP

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Firdia Lisnawati/AP

Convicted fighter Umar Patek pauses as police reenact the scene of the 2002 Bali bombings, in Denpasar, Bali Indonesia, October 20, 2011.

Firdia Lisnawati/AP

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A Muslim fighter was found guilty of making explosives used in 2002 Bali bombings killing more than 200 people was pardoned on Wednesday after serving about half of his original 20-year prison sentence despite strong opposition from Australia, which has lost a lot of its citizens in protests. attack in Indonesia.

Hisyam bin Alizein, also known by the alias Umar Patek, is a leading member of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network, which has been blamed for explosions at two nightclubs in Kuta Beach.

Patek was found guilty by the West Jakarta District Court of helping to build a car bomb that was detonated by another person outside the Sari Club in Kuta on the night of October 12, 2002. Moments earlier, a smaller bomb in his backpack was detonated by a suicide bomber in the nearby Paddy’s Pub nightclub. The attacks killed 202 people — mostly foreign tourists — including 88 Australians.

Indonesian authorities say Patek, 55, has successfully rehabilitated in prison and will use him to influence other fighters to turn their backs on terrorism.

Rika Aprianti, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections at the Justice Department, said Patek had received mass reductions in sentences, which are usually given to inmates on major holidays for good behaviour. Most recently, he got 5 months off on August 17, Indonesia’s Independence Day.

Aprianti said authorities will monitor Patek and he will have to participate in a mentoring program until his parole ends on April 29, 2030.

Patek was escorted by the National Police counter-terrorism team Densus 88 from Porong prison in East Java province to his family’s home in Surabaya, the provincial capital, she said.

“If he has any violations during his parole… he will go back to his cell,” she said.

In August, news of his early release caused outrage in Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described Patek as “disgusting” and said his release will cause more suffering for Australians who have suffered the trauma of the bombings.

“His actions were those of a terrorist,” Albanese told Channel 9 at the time. “We lost 88 Australian lives in those bombings.”

Australia’s objections prompted President Joko Widodo’s administration to delay the release of Patek during Indonesia’s G20 summit last month.

Patek left Bali shortly before the attack and spent nine years on the run, during which time he was considered one of the most wanted terror suspects in Asia.

He expressed regret at his trial, saying he helped make the bombs but did not know how they would be used. He issued a broad apology, including to the families of the victims.

Patek said in August he was committed to helping the government implement de-radicalization programs “so they can fully understand the dangers of terrorism and the dangers of extremism.”

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country and the third largest democracy, has jailed hundreds of Islamist militants since the Bali bombings.

In January, the East Jakarta District Court sentenced Arif Sunarso, the former military commander of Jemaah Islamiyah, to 15 years in prison for concealing information about the Bali bombings from authorities and harboring other suspects. Also known as Zulkarnaen, he evaded capture for 18 years.

Indonesia executed three Muslim fighters by firing squad at Nusakambangan prison in 2008 for their involvement in the Bali bombings. The three, Imam Samudra, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and his brother, Mukhlas, never expressed remorse, saying the bombings were intended to punish the United States and its Western allies for alleged crimes in Afghanistan. and other places.

Another bomber, Ali Imron, was not executed and was sentenced to life in prison after showing remorse and revealing the plot to investigators.


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