One of the bombmakers in the Bali blasts that killed more than 200 people two decades ago was released on parole on Wednesday, an Indonesian official said, months after Jakarta reduced his 20-year prison sentence.
Umar Patek was a member of an Al Qaeda-affiliated group that detonated devices at a bar and nightclub on the Indonesian resort island in 2002, killing 202 people including 88 Australians.
“Since today, Patek has his status changed to be under supervision of Surabaya penitentiary,” Law and Human Rights Ministry spokesperson Rika Aprianti told AFP.
Patek was found to have made the bombs used in the assault on Bali, a Hindu island popular with foreign tourists.
The decision to release him early is likely to anger Canberra, which lost the most of any of the 21 countries whose nationals were killed.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in August said he had nothing but “contempt” and disgust for Patek’s actions, saying his early release would only renew distress and trauma for the victims’ grieving families.
The attacks on a nightclub and bar were the deadliest in Indonesian history and led to a crackdown on extremism in the country, which has the largest Muslim population in the world.
Tied side-by-side to wooden posts on a small prison island, the attackers were executed by firing squad in 2008 after a years-long probe.