Australia will raise concerns with Indonesia over the imminent release of Bali bomber Umar Patek from prison, Anthony Albanese says.
Patek was sentenced to 20 years behind bars in 2012 for his role in the double-suicide bombings in the Kuta district that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
On October 10, 2002, one suicide bomber blew himself up inside a packed nightclub. Another suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a car parked outside two clubs.
Patek, who was convicted for assembling the explosive devices used, is expected to be freed from jail within days after having his sentence reduced by five months.
The government traditionally reduces the sentences of thousands of prisoners on Indonesia’s Independence Day.
Patek is set to be released on parole ahead of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack.
The Australian Prime Minister condemned the “horrific terrorist attack” and said Patek’s early release would add to the trauma of the victims’ families and friends.
“It is quite shocking that you’ve had now this early release further brought forward by another five months on top of the shortening of the period of 18 months that had already occurred,” Mr Albanese told 4CA Radio on Friday.
“And I just really feel for those people who will be doing it tough today as a result of this decision.”
Mr Albanese said Australia would raise the matter with Indonesian officials.
“We continue to make diplomatic representations in Australia’s interest,” he told the ABC.
“And we’ll continue to do that across a range of issues relating to security and relating to sentences, including the sentences of Australians who are currently being kept in Indonesia.
“We’ll continue to conduct that diplomatic action in Australia’s national interest.”
Mr Albanese said the deadly attack had touched the lives of people in his own electorate in Sydney.
“Including people like the Borgias and the Websters in my own electorate who was part of the Dulwich Hill sporting organisation where young people lost their lives in this terrorist attack,” he said.
“The anniversary is coming up, the 20th anniversary, I know that each and every year there’s a commemoration at Petersham in my electorate as there are around Australia.
“This will be of concern for the families involved.”