Reuters Darren Whiteside
Indonesia Friday released the hardline cleric Abu Bakr Ba’asyir, who authorities suspect was the mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings.
A spokeswoman for the General Department of Corrections at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights said that Ba’asyir returned with his family to his home in Central Java.
Pictures showed Bashir, wearing white clothes and a muzzle, as he left prison in Bogor, south of Jakarta.
Bashir, 82, was sentenced in 2011 to 15 years in prison for his links to a militant training camp in Aceh. He is considered the spiritual leader of the Islamic Group, a jihadist network with links to Al Qaeda.
After a phased reduction in his prison term, Indonesia’s Ministry of Law and Human Rights said he has now finished his sentence.
Although Bashir was linked to the Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, and the 2003 attack on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, he was not convicted in the two incidents and denied any connection to them.
Among the victims of the Bali bombings were 88 Australia, and Australian Foreign Minister Maris Bean said on Thursday that Indonesia must ensure that Bashir will not fuel further violence after his release.