By Helene Fung
Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of the terrorist group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings,has just been granted parole after serving nine years of a 15-year jail term, and will walk as a free man in a matter of days.
Bashir was the alleged founder and chief ideologue of the Jemaah Islamiyah, who set up a paramilitary training camp in Indonesia’s Aceh province and claimed responsibilities for a string of attacks including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. He also pledged allegiance to Islamic State while in prison in 2014.
He was convicted of being part of an “evil conspiracy” behind the bombing of the Sari nightclub in October 2002;however the conviction was overturned by the Indonesian Supreme Court, 26 months after he was imprisoned.
In the Indonesian justice system, parole can be granted after two-thirds of a sentence has been served.