News World Chan, Sukumaran next on execution list

Chan, Sukumaran next on execution list

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The Indonesian government has confirmed that two convicted Australian drug smugglers are to be put to death in the next round of executions.

It is understood Prime Minister Tony Abbott pleaded with Indonesia to see if there was anything that could be done to save the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

But Indonesia informed Australia that all options had been exhausted and the decision was made.

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Attorney-General HM Prasetyo, who last week said Australians were among the foreign drug offenders in line for execution, confirmed on Monday that the plans were going ahead.

Asked if Chan and Sukumaran were on the list for the next round, he told reporters: “Yes, included in the next round”.

Their application for a second judicial review, accepted by the courts on Friday, included handwritten pleas from the men, and accounts of their rehabilitation behind bars at Bali’s Kerobokan jail.

Mr Prasetyo said that didn’t constitute new evidence.

Myuran Sukumaran has become an avid painter while in prison. Photo: AAP.

“From what I’ve heard, the new evidence, or what’s being called new evidence, submitted, is not actually new,” he said.

“It’s about current developments.

“The meaning of new evidence is evidence from before the sentencing, which would make the sentence different.

“What was submitted was something that happened after the sentencing.”

As far as the attorney-general is concerned, Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, exhausted their avenues for appeal when President Joko Widodo refused them clemency.

But he promised not to interfere with the court process.

“We hope the courts will see with clear vision how dangerous narcotics are to our nation,” he said.

“I will not influence that.”

Mr Prasetyo said planning was underway for the executions: “We’re just waiting for the right time.”

‘Australians have to accept the execution’

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 the Bali Nine ringleaders are executed.

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Despite more than 50 attempts by the Australian Government to discuss the issue, the executions will go ahead, Indonesia says.

Mr Joko on Monday met Indonesia’s ambassadors at a gathering in Jakarta, where he told them to explain to their respective countries that the death penalty was part of Indonesia’s law.

Ambassador to Australia, Najib Riphat Kesoema, was himself was recalled from Canberra in 2013 over the spying scandal.

He says Australians have to accept the executions “because this is law enforcement in Indonesia”.

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

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

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

Lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran argue their sentences should be commuted to 20 years because of past misapplications of the law and their reform during a decade in prison.

However, it’s uncertain the courts will allow a second judicial review in the case, with Indonesia’s courts arguing over whether multiple reviews are permitted.

– with AAP

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