Jakarta: President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has confirmed that the central government is planning to release terrorism convict Abu Bakar Baasyir from prison.
"He is in poor health. His condition is deteroriating," President Jokowi said in Cibatu, Garut, West Java on Friday, January 18, 2019.
In 2011, Baasyir was convicted of supporting a jihadi train camp in the province of Aceh. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
According to reports, the 80-year-old cleric was considered as the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group. JI was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings and other high-profile terror attacks.
"The decision was taken after much thought and consideration. It was taken after a series of talks with National Police chief, experts and Pak Yusril (Crescent Star Party chairman Yusril Ihza Mahendra)," President Jokowi explained.
In a press statement, Yusril said that Baasyir will be released from prison next week. He added that the radical cleric will live with his children in the Central Java city of Solo.