Bashir ignores police questions

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As about 100 of his followers shouted their support outside Jakarta’s Salemba prison, Bashir’s lawyers insisted he would be released tomorrow as scheduled, although police refused to confirm he would go free.

Bashir was last year sentenced to four years in prison on treason, forgery and immigration charges, but last month the Supreme Court cut his sentence to 18 months, which expires tomorrow.

Police have re-opened his case and are investigating his connection to the 2002 Bali bombings, as well as trying to determine whether he ever led JI.

Under Indonesia’s anti-terrorism laws, Bashir can be detained for up to six months while the investigation proceeds.

The new investigation has been slammed by hardline Muslim organisations who say the police are simply following orders from the West.