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Chan, Sukumaran write appeals

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan Bali Nine
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Australian drug smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have lodged handwritten letters to Indonesia’s president appealing for mercy as part of an application to have their death sentences reviewed.

In their letters written in Indonesian, Chan admits he deserves to be in jail but can be repaired, while Sukumaran insists prison has changed him into an extraordinary and good man.

In his statement to President Joko Widodo and the Supreme Court chairman, Chan writes that life in prison is tough but he is not complaining, “because I know I deserved to be jailed for quite a long time”.

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He begs for the president and court to note his rehabilitation during his decade on death row.

“I’m like a broken cup, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be repaired,” he writes.

Sukumaran’s letter begins by apologising for a crime committed when he was “very young and foolish and uneducated”.

He writes about the computer and art classes in Kerobokan jail and how, through teaching others, they have taught him.

“In a way, Bapak, I would like to thank you even though I’m in prison,” Sukumaran writes.

“If the lowest point of a society is prison, then it must be noted that your prison has changed me into an extraordinary person, a good man, an educated man.”

The Bali Nine ringleaders, who have been on death row in Kerobokan prison for 10 years, were unable to apply for the judicial review in person, so a court registrar visited them.

With their application accepted, their legal team hopes arguments about their rehabilitation and past misapplications of law can be considered.

They want the Australians’ death sentences to be commuted to 20 years in jail.

Legal uncertainty over whether the courts can hear a second judicial review, known as a PK, persists.

Lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis said the pair’s execution should be suspended.

“There should not be an execution because the legal process should be respected as well,” he told reporters outside Kerobokan jail on Friday.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also vouched for the men’s reform.

He has promised to continue pressing their case with Indonesia, where Mr Joko has promised “no compromise” on executing drug offenders.

Mr Joko points to a study that suggests 18,000 Indonesians die from drug-related deaths every year.

Another motivation for his get-tough approach on drugs may be the polls that show his approval rating is plummeting after only 100 days in office.

Home support for the Australians is also swelling, with the Mercy Campaign petition reaching 135,000 signatures following Thursday night’s candlelight vigil in Sydney.

Indonesia’s attorney-general says the Australians are being considered for the next round of executions, at a time to be determined.

The location will likely be Nusakambangan, a prison island off central Java.

But authorities are still evaluating the location and other issues after the executions of six prisoners last week.

– AAP

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