Early release of Bali bombmaker will add to ‘distress’ of victims’ families, PM warns

The Australian government is continuing its diplomatic approaches to Indonesia following the proposal for the early release of the man who assembled the explosives used in the Bali bombings.
was reduced by a further five months, meaning he could be released days after serving only around half of his original 20-year sentence.

The 2002 bombings killed more than 200 people, including 88 Australians.

News of Patek’s potential release comes less than two months from the 20th anniversary of the October attacks.
“It will add to how the families of the 88 Australians who lost their lives in this terrorist attack feel, especially on the days of remembrance, and the 20th anniversary is approaching,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Seven’s Sunrise.
“It’s not just about the 88 people, we’re talking about thousands of people who have been affected by trauma, who have lost loved ones.
“They lost mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters in this terrorist attack.”

The prime minister said the government was making diplomatic representations in Indonesia, but acknowledged that the decision on Patek’s future was made in another country.

“His sentence is there. It’s a decision that has been advised to the Australian authorities,” he told the ABC.
“We continue to make diplomatic representations in Australia’s interests.
“We will continue to do so on a range of security and sentencing issues, including the sentencing of Australians who are currently detained in Indonesia.”
But survivor Erik de Haart says there is little the Australian government can do.

“It’s a bit late for our government to do anything right now,” he told Seven’s Sunrise.

“When you consider all the financial aid we’ve given (to Indonesia) over the years, with the disasters they’ve been through, and they seem to keep rubbing our noses.
“We have to adopt a bit of a hotline with Indonesia and other Asian countries that harbor these extremists and kill people and say, ‘You want to let these people live free, you won’t get so much help.’
Mr De Haart added that the bombmaker may not be de-radicalized, as Indonesian authorities claim, although he may be released early for good behavior.
“I don’t care if he was de-radicalized or not, it could be part of an act, but at the end of the day he made a weapon that killed 200 people and doesn’t deserve to be released for good behavior” , I said

“For us, there has been no sense of justice at all.”