CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (AP) – Australia’s leader said yesterday that it’s upsetting Indonesia has further reduced the prison sentence of the bombmaker in the Bali attack that killed 202 people.
The most recent reduction of Umar Patek’s sentence takes his total reductions to almost two years and means he could be released ahead of the 20th anniversary of the bombings in October.
“This will cause further distress to Australians who were the families of victims of the Bali bombings,” Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Channel 9. “We lost 88 Australian lives in those bombings.”
Albanese said he would continue making “diplomatic representations” to Indonesia about Patek’s sentence and a range of other issues, including Australians currently jailed in Indonesia.
Indonesia often grants sentence reductions to prisoners on major holidays such as the nation’s Independence Day.
Patek received a five-month reduction for good behaviour and could walk free this month from Porong Prison in East Java province if he gets parole, said Zaeroji, who heads the provincial office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
Zaeroji, who goes by a single name, said Patek had the same rights as other inmates and had fulfilled requirements to receive sentence reductions.
“While in the prison, he behaved very well and he regrets his radical past which has harmed society and the country and he has also vowed to be a good citizen,” Zaeroji said.
Patek was arrested in Pakistan in 2011 and tried in Indonesia, where he was convicted in 2012.
He was originally sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.