11/03/2005, 00.00
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Indonesia, Abu Bakar Bashir will not get prison sentence reduction

The country traditionally cuts prison terms to mark the end of Ramadan. Request denied for the Muslim cleric convicted of playing a role in the 2002 Bali bombings.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged spiritual head of an al-Qaeda-linked terror group, will not have his prison sentence reduced to mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, supporters said on Thursday.

Indonesia traditionally cuts prison terms on national holidays — usually by several months — for inmates who exhibit good behaviour. Only those sentenced to death or life in prison are excluded.

Authorities had asked that Bashir, a Muslim cleric who was convicted of playing a role in the 2002 Bali bombings, have one month taken off his jail time, but members of his Islamic group, Majeslis Mujahidin Indonesia, said on Thursday the request was denied.

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