“Would you sit next to a person that’s killed 202 people, 88 Australians in Bali?”
That’s the question asked by Bali bombing survivor Jan Laczynski this morning as the bomb maker who assembled the explosives used in the 2002 attack prepares to walk free amid claims he has been reformed.
Umar Patek, 52, will be released from prison weeks before the 20th anniversary of the suicide bombings at the Sari Club and Paddy’s Bar.
Patek – also known as the “demolition man” – was initially sentenced to 20 years in prison. He has served 10 of those.
Speaking to Today, Laczynski said Patek’s early release has come as a huge “shock”.
Laczynski was in the Sari Club just before the bombing. He lost five friends in the attack.
“This guy is going to walk out. He is going to have his life back. So many Australians lost their lives. Their families are still suffering.
“This is the guy that mixed the chemicals, and he pretty much said, ‘at the end of the day, it happened, it happened, and now I’m reformed’.
“Would you sit next to a person that’s killed 202 people, 88 Australians in Bali? I don’t think you would feel very comfortable.”
“Wherever he steps, wherever he goes, he should not be going out unsupervised with the knowledge that he has with explosives and chemicals.”
Laczynski’s sentiments were mirrored by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this morning, who called Patek’s role in the attack “abhorrent”.
“I feel a great deal of common distress, along with all Australians, I think, at this time,” he said.
“We lost 88 Australian lives in those bombings.
“His actions were the actions of a terrorist. They did have such dreadful results for Australian families that are ongoing, the trauma which is there.”
It took ten years for Patek to be tracked down, He was arrested in 2012 and sentenced.
He is due to walk free from Porong prison within days.