In October 2002, 202 people were killed in an Islamist terrorist attack in Bali. Now one of those involved in building the bomb, Umar Patek, is being released early. The indignation is great.
The early release of one of those involved in the Islamist terrorist attacks on the holiday island of Bali 20 years ago has sparked outrage in Australia. Home Secretary Clare O'Neil spoke on ABC of a "terrible day for the victims". The act was "inexcusable and absolutely despicable". The attacks on the Indonesian island in October 2002 killed 202 people. 88 fatalities came from Australia alone, most of them tourists.
Indonesian Umar Patek was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012 for building the bombs. He was released on probation after serving a little over half of his sentence. The Ministry of Justice justified this by saying that he had met the conditions for release, including good behavior and participation in so-called deradicalisation programmes. However, he must report regularly to the authorities by April 2030. It had already become known in August that Patek would soon be able to leave prison on probation.
There was an outcry in Australia at the time. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said an early release would have a devastating effect on the families of the dead. Climate Minister Chris Bowen told ABC the people of Australia have every right to be disappointed and concerned. However, the government understands and respects that a different legal system applies in Indonesia.
On October 12, 2002, radical Islamists used remote-controlled bombs to reduce two nightclubs in the holiday resort of Kuta to rubble. Most of the victims were in and around the "Sari Club". The fatalities came from more than 20 countries. Six Germans also died. Hundreds were injured, some seriously. The radical Islamic group Jemaah Islamiyah, which had connections to the terrorist network al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the crime.
Patek admitted in court in 2012 that he had built bombs with several of the terrorists convicted of the Bali attacks, including Ali Imron and Imam Samudra. Imron was sentenced to life imprisonment for the attacks. Samudra received the death penalty with two other accomplices and was executed in 2008. However, Patek said at the time that he did not know what attacks the accomplices were planning.