Source Pravda.Ru

Muslim cleric denied jail cut

Indonesia has decided not to reduce the jail sentence of Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, convicted of conspiracy in the 2002 Bali attacks. Ba'asyir, along with other prisoners, was in line for a remission to mark the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.

But he was told on Thursday he was not on the list of prisoners being granted time off, his lawyer said. Any reduction in his sentence would have angered Australia, home to many of the 202 victims of the Bali attacks. Ba'asyir's lawyer responded to Thursday's news by accusing Australia of interfering in Indonesia's affairs.

Justice Minister Hamid Awaluddin said last week that Ba'asyir would be eligible for a remission. Indonesia traditionally reduces prison terms of inmates who exhibit good behaviour, announcing the cuts on national holidays, and only those sentenced to death or life in jail are not eligible.

In March this year, Ba'asyir was found guilty of conspiracy in connection with the 2002 Bali attacks, and sentenced to 30 months in jail.

He is also widely believed to be the spiritual leader of the regional militant group Jemaah Islamiah, although this has never been proved in court.

In the past, Australia has asked Indonesia to exclude militants such as Ba'asyir from the jail remissions - requests that Jakarta has previously denied.

Ba'asyir himself benefited from a reduction in his jail term earlier this year, to mark Indonesian independence day. But the latest request, for another 30 days reprieve, has been turned down. "He did not get the remission at all," Ba'asyir 's lawyer Lutfi Hakim told Reuters news agency, reports BBC. I.L.