Umar Patek, the freed Bali bomb-maker has a fresh perspective on life: to open a restaurant. The 55-year-old was escorted from Porong prison on Wednesday, however, the Australian government has called for him to have 24-hour supervision to warrant he won’t revert to radicalism.
Patak was almost 12 years into the 20-year term he had been ordered to serve and has now been permitted release from prison for good behaviour. He was convicted for his involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings: assembling the explosives that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Whilst Patak will be on bail until 2030, his release has caused anger and angst amongst the community, particularly the survivors, and the family and friends of the victims.
As featured in the Sydney Morning Herald* exclusive article, “Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles told ABC radio he would urge the Indonesian government to place Patek under constant surveillance.
‘We have registered our concerns about Umar Patek’s release with the Indonesian government on multiple occasions,’ said a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. ‘Umar Patek’s release is a matter for the government of Indonesia and its domestic legal processes, but we have sought assurances from the Indonesian government that he will be subject to ongoing supervision and monitoring, in accordance with Indonesia’s approach to deradicalisation.’”
His bail regulations stipulate that his wife, Ruqayyah Binti Husein Luceno, is responsible for ‘keeping an eye on him.’ Patak must also report to corrections department officials every week, and undertake compulsory mentoring training, which has not been well-received by the Australian community.
KNL’s Peter Tadros states, “the decision to release Patak is outrageous. Foreign Minister Marles’ weak response needs to be questioned given the millions in Foreign Aid sent by Australian taxpayers to Indonesia.”
The Sydney Morning Herald* cites: “The first thing Umar wants now is to focus on his family,” said Fauzi, a brother of executed Bali bombers Amrozi and Ali Ghufron and another sibling, Ali Imron, who was jailed for life for his role in the Kuta nightclub attack. “Umar has a strong intention to be peace ambassador, to take part in the deradicalisation program. The plan on running a small restaurant is still on.” Patek has denounced his violent past and pledged allegiance to the Indonesian state. Deakin University terrorism expert Greg Barton believes he is unlikely to re-offend.”
“This is disgusting,” said Kathy, a friend of a survivor. “Because of his bomb-making ‘skills’, he’s left my friend with permanent scaring and brain injuries. How will his restaurant rectify that? How can he focus on his family and carry on, disregarding all the people that died and are suffering permanent disabilities? Regardless of his remorse and good behaviour, he shouldn’t be allowed any leniency. The least he can do is complete his full sentence.”
*First cited exclusively in the Sydney Morning Herald: https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/family-focus-for-bali-bomb-maker-who-wants-to-open-a-restaurant-20221208-p5c4t7.html