JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s Justice Minister Hamid Awaluddin said militants convicted under anti-terrorism laws, including cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, are eligible for a reduction in their jail terms to mark a major Muslim holiday.
The move, expected this week to mark Eid al-Fitr that falls on November 3, is likely to irritate some foreign countries, especially Australia, which lost 88 citizens in the 2002 Bali bombings.
Bashir’s conviction was linked to the Bali blasts, which killed 202 people, and intelligence officials say he was the spiritual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah militant network blamed for those and other bombings.
“Remission is for all prisoners without looking at the type of crimes which had been carried out,” Awaluddin told a news conference late on Sunday when asked whether Bashir was eligible for a sentence cuts Indonesia gives most prisoners on major holidays.
“The rule goes that all prisoners can get remission as long as they have displayed good behavior,” Awaluddin said.