Lawyer for radical Indonesian cleric says he will be freed

JAKARTA (AP) – A lawyer for the ailing radical cleric who inspired the Bali bombers said the Indonesian government will release him from prison next week. The lawyer, Muhammad Mahendradatta, said yesterday the decision to release 80-year-old Abu Bakar Bashir was made on humanitarian grounds.

Many of the victims of the Bali bombings in 2002 were Australians. Australia urged Indonesia last March against any leniency towards Bashir.

Bashir was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2011 for supporting a military-style training camp for extremists.

The firebrand cleric was arrested almost immediately after the Bali bombings. But prosecutors were unable to prove a string of terrorism-related allegations.