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Australia urges Indonesia to respect Bali bombing victims

Abu Bakar Bashir waves at his supporters after his appeal hearing at the local district court in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia.

CANBERRA: Australia’s prime minister says he would be disappointed if radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir were released from prison early and urged Indonesia to show respect for the victims of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that the firebrand preacher inspired.


An Indonesian official said on Monday Indonesian President Joko Widodo had asked him to coordinate a review of all aspects of the planned release of the 80-year-old cleric following domestic and international criticism.


Australia has been in top-level discussions with the Indonesia since last week when the decision was announced to release the spiritual leader of bombers who attacked nightclubs on Bali island and that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday Australia would protest if Bashir were released early as planned.


Associated Press