Anger over Bali bomb plotter Patek’s prison sentence
Survivors and relatives of the 202 people killed in the 2002 Bali bombing have reacted with anger over the sentence given to the last of the plotters to face justice, saying Umar Patek should face a firing squad.
SURVIVORS and relatives of the 202 people killed in the 2002 Bali bombing have reacted with anger over the sentence given to the last of the plotters to face justice, saying Umar Patek should face a firing squad.
Patek, who spent almost 10 years on the run as one ofSouth-East Asia’s most wanted, was on Thursday sentenced to 20 years in jail for his role in building the explosive devices used in the bombing.
He could be released within 15 years if granted parole.
The 45-year-old was found guilty of mass murder for the attack on two nightclubs in the popular tourist area of Kuta which left 202 people dead, including 88 Australians, and injured scores more.
He was also found guilty of a number of other terrorism-related charges, including a wave of bombings of churches acrossIndonesiaon Christmas Eve in 2000.
Prosecutors had demanded a life sentence, although they could have pushed that the man dubbed the “Demolition Man” for his reputation as a master bomb-maker be sentenced to death.
The decision has reignited painful memories forPerthmother n, who lost her 39-year-old twin daughters Jane and Jenny in the destruction unleashed by Patek and his co-conspirators almost a decade ago.
Fighting back tears, she said Patek should have been sentenced to death.
“I really feel that he should follow in the footsteps of the other guys. He should be put in front of the firing squad,” Ms Corteen told AAP.
“I have to live every day without seeing more grandchildren, and my daughters.”
The Sari Club was levelled when a massive bomb loaded into a van parked outside was detonated just after 11pm on October 12, 2002.
Peter Hughes was in Paddy’s Bar where a suicide bomber detonated a backpack loaded with explosives just 20 seconds earlier.
He lapsed into a month-long coma in the wake of the bombing, and “died” three times while on life support.
Mr Hughes said Patek should have shared the same fate as three other members of the Jemaah Islamiah terror cell responsible for the carnage – Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra – who were executed four years ago.
“Really, this guy should get the death penalty before anybody. To keep him alive, well, there’s no reason to keep him alive.”
“To get 20 years, after killing 202 people and injuring many hundreds, it’s not much.”
Patek is the last of theBalibombers to face justice.
He had avoided capture for almost a decade but was eventually apprehended in January 2011 in the Pakistani town ofAbbottabad, where US forces killed former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden less than four months later.
During the trial, an FBI agent testified that intelligence reports had revealed Patek was in Pakistan to meet with bin Laden in an effort to re-establish links between South-East Asian terrorist groups and al-Qaeda.
“He didn’t give himself up,” Ms Corteen said.
“Until just recently, he really didn’t feel sorry for how much grief he caused other people.”
The verdict comes ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attack later this year, which will be marked by ceremonies in Bali andAustralia.
“There will be a lot of tears this year,” Ms Corteen said.
Patek may yet appeal his sentence.