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Bashir lawyers accuse Aust of overreaction

Lawyers for radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir say Australian government warnings to Indonesia to stop him from inciting future attacks are an overreaction and exaggeration.

The 82-year-old will be freed from an Indonesian prison on Friday after his 15-year terrorism sentence expires.

But his impending release has angered survivors of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings and prompted the Australian government to talk to their Indonesian counterparts.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says it has been made clear to Indonesia that Bashir should be prevented from inciting others to carry out attacks.

One of Bashir's longtime lawyers, Ahmad Michdan, told AAP the Australian statement was an over-reaction.

"I think that statement is too much. He is elderly," Mr Michdan said, adding that much written and said about Bashir was a misinterpretation.

"There have been many misinterpretations about (him). He has been cornered, as if he is an extraordinary terrorist and dangerous."

Bashir will be freed from the Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java. He is expected to be collected by his son and his legal team and driven back to this home in Solo, in Central Java.

Police and the legal team have asked his supporters not to turn up in mass numbers at the jail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imam Suyudi, from the Law and Human Rights Ministry office in West Java, urged Bashir's supporters not to come to the prison and create crowds.

There will also be no welcoming party from the students at the Ngruki Muslim boarding school, which Bashir co-founded and where he lives, as the school has not been running since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Bashir was sentenced in 2011 to 15 years in jail for his role in terrorist training camps in Aceh province. That sentence, less 55 months awarded as part of annual remissions granted to all prisoners, is now due to expire.

Bashir has always denied any role in the 2002 Bali bombings.

His 2005 conviction for conspiracy for giving his tacit approval to the attacks was later overturned by Indonesia's highest court and he was acquitted of any role.

Operatives from the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group orchestrated the attacks, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, and authorities had claimed Bashir was the spiritual leader of JI.

When Andrew Csabi walked in to the Sari Club in Bali on October 12 in 2002, he says he was handed a life sentence.

"It's unfair, it's unjust. I'm a little bit outraged really," Mr Csabi told AAP about Bashir's impending release.

"I'm a double amputee, so I received a life sentence.

"The people that were mass-murdered received a life sentence... and he now is going to be released from jail," Mr Csabi said.

"You're going to let somebody who incited mass murder, you're going to let that person out?"

"It doesn't make sense to me."

Mr Csabi says despite his age Bashir has the means to incite hatred again.

"I couldn't be convinced as a survivor that he would not turn back to his trade."

Albert Talarico agrees the consensus among survivors and victims' families is that Bashir should not be released.

Mr Talarico was a waterboy at the Coogee Dolphins Football Club but was thrust into the position of president of the rugby league club in Sydney's east when the blast killed the club president.

Eleven players had travelled to Bali to celebrate the end of the season. Only five came home.

Mr Talarico says his release will set back the healing of those who were injured or lost loved ones.

"Everyone walked away with a scar... and when these things happen, those scars and those memories come back, and it just makes it harder for them to try and take that next step forward," he said.

© AAP 2021