News World ‘Executions won’t disrupt ties’

‘Executions won’t disrupt ties’

Tony Abbott with Indonesian President Joko Widodo
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Relations are strong enough to withstand any adverse reaction over the execution of the two Bali Nine ringleaders, Indonesia’s ambassador to Australia says.

Najib Riphat Kesoema says he has explained to Australian officials that Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have exhausted all legal avenues to appeal their 2006 death sentences for the heroin smuggling bid.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a personal plea for the men to be spared to President Joko Widodo, who rejected their appeals for clemency.

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The Netherlands and Brazil recalled their ambassadors from Jakarta after their citizens on death row were denied mercy for drug offences and were executed last month.

Australia has not ruled out the same action if Chan and Sukumaran are executed.

Mr Kesoema, who himself was recalled from Canberra in 2013 over the spying scandal, says that may happen but he doesn’t expect any serious problems in the relationship.

“I don’t think there will be some difficulties in our diplomatic relations because the foundation of the relations is so good,” he told reporters in Jakarta on Monday.

He had received more than 100 letters from all layers of society in Australia concerning the coming executions.

On the other hand, he’d seen reports of polling that found 52 per cent of Australians supported the executions.

Australians had to accept the action, he said, “because this is law enforcement in Indonesia”.

Mr Joko told reporters he had asked all ambassadors to convey this to the nations concerned.

“It’s our positive law and they have been sentenced by the courts,” he told reporters at a gathering of Indonesia’s ambassadors in Jakarta.

Lawyers for the Sydney men have submitted an application for a second judicial review of their cases but it’s unclear whether a second appeal will be allowed.

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