Indonesia leader to free radical cleric behind Bali bombings

1000Source: Associated Press

By NINIEK KARMINI

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The ailing 80-year-old radical cleric who inspired the Bali bombers and other violent extremists in Indonesia will be released from prison, Indonesia’s president said Friday, slashing a 15-year sentence.

The announcement of Abu Bakar Bashir’s imminent release came during campaigning for a presidential election due in April in which opponents of President Joko Widodo have tried to discredit him as insufficiently Islamic.

“I have considered this decision for a long time, involving the National Police chief and legal experts,” Widodo told reporters. “This release was decided because of humanitarian considerations and also related to his health care.”

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