News World Bali Nine duo to be transferred for execution
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Bali Nine duo to be transferred for execution

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Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be transferred this week to the island prison where they will be kept before their expected executions, Indonesian authorities say.

The attorney-general’s spokesman Tony Spontana says that inmates from five different locations will be taken to Nusa Kembangan prison.

It is the first indication from authorities of the timing for the transfers and another step in the process that would put Chan and Sukumaran in front of a firing squad.

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• Bali Nine pair ‘bribed for their lives’

They are on death row for coordinating the drug smuggling group known as the Bali Nine.

A meeting has been held in Bali on Monday to determine the logistics of transferring the two Australians.

It was the meeting that was meant to be held on Friday, and among those present were the chief of Bali police and the head of the Bali prosecutors office, which is in charge of arranging the logistics and timing of the transfer.

In a separate meeting, Australian diplomats met with Indonesian authorities in Jakarta to be briefed on plans for the executions.

Officials from the Indonesian foreign affairs ministry outlined details about how the families will be given access to the inmates and the process leading up to the executions.

Lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran, meanwhile, have been refused a meeting with the attorney-general, where they had hoped to brief him to explain the case for the executions to be stalled.

The legal team is disputing the Indonesian president’s refusal to grant pardons without considering the cases individually.

But the attorney-general’s office has indicated the execution process will go ahead regardless of any legal challenges.

“All legal process has been finished. Moreover, we have received the clemency result from the president,” Mr Spontana said.

“The next step is the execution. Though there are ongoing legal efforts from the lawyers, that does not hold the execution, the preparation is continues.”

Accusations of sentencing judges asking for bribes

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan Bali Nine
Chan and Sukumaran will be transferred this week to the island prison where they will be kept before their expected executions. Photo: Getty

The Australians’ lawyers may also demand an investigation into reports the judges who gave Chan and Sukumaran the death penalty asked for bribes.

The men’s former lawyer Muhammad Rifan recently revealed he had information about how the men’s case was interfered with.

He is reportedly accusing judges who handed down the death sentence of asking for bribes to give a lesser sentence.

Their current lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, said no evidence had been produced.

But another lawyer at Todung’s firm said they were considering demanding an investigation, because if the allegations were true then it raised serious questions about whether these two men actually had a proper hearing, and whether they were given the death sentence legitimately through the legal system or whether it was simply because no bribe was paid.

AAP
Lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis says no evidence of bribery has been produced. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Tony Abbott would not comment on the bribery claims but said he believed there were still legal avenues that could be pursued.

“What we understand is that there are still legal options available to these two Australians and their legal teams,” he said.

“And we certainly appreciate that the Indonesian government doesn’t normally go ahead with executions of this type while there are legal options still available.”

Mr Abbott said he had made a fresh “personal” representation to Indonesian president Joko Widodo.

“Like millions of Australians, I feel sick in the pit of my stomach when I think about what is quite possibly happening to these youngsters and, like every parent, I want to try to ensure that nothing terrible happens to people,” he said.

But he added he did not want to “peddle false hope” nor turn it into a “test of strength” with the Indonesians.

Bishop advised against Indonesian visit

At a meeting with Australian diplomats on Monday, Indonesian authorities are expected to explain the procedure for the executions, the timing of when the families will be notified, and other details including arrangements for foreign media coverage.

Representatives of all foreign countries whose citizens are among the group scheduled to be executed have been summoned to the meeting.

Consular officials have warned Foreign Minister Julie Bishop against travelling to Indonesia to make an eleventh-hour plea on behalf of the pair.

Julie-Bishop
Consular officials have warned Foreign Minister Julie Bishop against travelling to Indonesia to make an eleventh-hour plea. Photo: AAP

Ms Bishop is still engaged in a wide-ranging campaign for clemency, saying it would be a grave injustice for Indonesia to carry out the executions.

“I have to take the advice of our very experienced consular officials, those who’ve been involved in these kinds of cases before,” she said.

“I’m told that if I flew to Indonesia at the time, it could potentially be counter-productive and precipitate an unfavourable outcome.”

Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull sent a message to the Indonesian government while answering a question on Q&A on Monday night.

“Perhaps if I can address this to the Indonesian government: It is not a sign of weakness to spare the lives of these men,” he said.

“Yes, they have committed very terrible crimes. Yes, they knew that the death penalty was there if they were caught and found guilty. But it is not weak to spare their lives.

“It is a sign of the strongest love, the greatest mercy when you extend it to those who least deserve it.

“That is a sign of strength. President Jokowi can be so strong, so strong that he does not have to take the lives of two men but to give them life to continue to rehabilitate, to repent for the rest of their days.”

Government options appear exhausted: former ambassador

Philip Flood, the former Australian ambassador to Indonesia, says all options for the Federal Government now appear exhausted.

“I think a whole lot of lawyers, many acting pro bono, have put a lot effort into this and there have been the widest representations from the community,” he told 7.30.

“I don’t think there’s anything else that the Government could possibly do at this very late stage.”

The Indonesian consul to the Northern Territory said he hoped Australia would continue to work with Indonesia to prevent drug trafficking in south-east Asia.

Andrew Siregar said the executions of Sukumaran and Chan would send a signal to drug traffickers.

“We’re hopeful that both our governments will prevent such criminal activity because our children are the ones that suffer,” he said.

“I understand the discussions and emotions are rising from this in the past few weeks … but in the big picture of things, we’re really faced with a threat by these drug traffickers.”

-ABC

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