Indonesia releases on parole Bali bomb maker Umar Patek - statement

Indonesian militant Umar Patek walks after reading his final defence at the West Jakarta court May 31, 2012. Prosecutors last week sought life in prison for Patek, accused of making bombs that exploded at Bali nightclubs packed with Australian tourists in 2002, killing 202 people. Patek is also accused of mixing chemicals for 13 bombs that detonated in five churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve, 2000 and killed around 15 people. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni

JAKARTA, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Indonesia has released on parole Umar Patek, a bomb maker in deadly 2002 Bali attacks, the ministry of law and human rights said on Wednesday.

Patek, a member of the Al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, was jailed for 20 years in 2012 after he was found guilty of mixing bombs that ripped through two Bali nightclubs, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians.

After his release on Wednesday, Patek is required to join a "mentoring program" until April 2030, according to the ministry statement. If any violation is discovered during that time, his parole will be revoked, the ministry added.

In August, Indonesia's government said that Patek was eligible for parole after his sentence was reduced, a decision that sparked criticism from the victims' families.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also criticised the announcement at the time, saying he planned to raise the issue with Indonesia.

Patek, who was also convicted for his role in deadly church bombings in 2000, was granted a series of small reductions to his sentence as part of remissions regularly given to inmates to mark Indonesia's Aug. 17 independence day.

Reporting by Ananda Teresia, Writing by Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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