Bali bomber apologizes to families

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umar patek sentencing jakarta

An Indonesian bomb builder convicted for his role in the deadly nightclub assaults in Bali in 2002 has apologized to the relatives of the victims, after his release from prison was met with fury in Australia.

Umar Patek, a member of the al Qaeda-affiliated Jemaah Islamiyah group, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012 for his role in the bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians. Last week, he was freed on parole.

“I apologize to the victims and their families, both domestically and internationally, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or religion,” Patek said in an interview at a deradicalization center in East Java province on Tuesday.

“I apologize to the Australian people, who have been profoundly affected by the bombing in Bali,” he continued.

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Patek also stated that he would assist the Indonesian government in its anti-terrorism efforts and that he was “prepared to become a peace ambassador.”

Patek would be expected to engage in a mentoring program until April 2030, and any breach might result in the revocation of his parole, according to the justice ministry of Indonesia.

As part of its efforts to combat a revival in Islamic militancy, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has pioneered a deradicalization program in tandem with security crackdowns.

The release of Patek has generated outrage in Australia.

Immediately following his release, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles stated that it was a “sad day” for Australians who had lost loved ones and relatives in the assaults.

The apology was rejected by Paul Vanni, community and partnerships officer for the Sydney Coogee Dolphins rugby team, which lost six players in the Bali assaults.

“Words are meaningless. It is the ultimate slap in the face. He is a killer and an assassin,” claimed Vanni.

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