September 27, 2022

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“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.

Umar Patek was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Indonesia for his role in the double suicide bombings in Kuta. (Nine)

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.

Jan Laczynski said the Bali bombings 'still feel like yesterday' as he lashed the early release of Indonesian militant Umar Patek.
Jan Laczynski said the Bali bombings ‘still feel like yesterday’ as he lashed the early release of Indonesian militant Umar Patek. (Today)

“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.”

The Bali bombing attacks killed 202 people in 2002. Now, people accused of the attacks are set to go on trial in Guantanamo. (AP)
“It’s a common thing. Most of these Bali bombers seem to be walking out to – in a little under half their time,” Laczynski said, adding he hopes Patek will be monitored.

“Wherever he steps, wherever he goes, he should not be going out unsupervised with the knowledge that he has with explosives and chemicals.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said is is outraged by the early release of the Bali bombing bomb maker.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said is is outraged by the early release of the Bali bombing bomb maker. (Today)

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.”

The Demolition Man: Umar Patek For many years, Patek was south-east Asia’s most wanted man, with a US$1 million bounty on his head. He faced charges from premeditated mass murder to document forgery. Patek was captured by Pakistani security officials in Abbottabad, where he had apparently been attempting to visit fugitive al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. During his trial, he told Fairfax Media he wanted a sentence of less than ten years, because he was already 46 and wanted children before it was too late. He was sentenced to 20 years’ jail, and will be eligible for parole in 2031, when he will be aged 65.
For many years, Patek was south-east Asia’s most wanted man, with a US$1 million bounty on his head. (9NEWS)

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.

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