News World Bali Nine: 111 MPs write to request mercy

Bali Nine: 111 MPs write to request mercy

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More than 100 Federal MPs have written to the Indonesian government asking for the death sentences on Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan to be lifted.

In a letter to the Indonesian ambassador to Australia, sent last week, the MPs say the imminent execution of the two Bali Nine drug traffickers is of “deep concern”.

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The letter has been signed by 111 MPs, including Chief Government Whip Philip Ruddock, Chief Opposition Whip Chris Hayes, and Greens Leader Christine Milne.

“Mr Sukumaran and Mr Chan have demonstrated genuine remorse and have become model prisoners, working constructively at Kerobokan, not only on their own rehabilitation and reform, but also for that of other prisoners,” the letter states.

Chan and Sukumaran are trying everything possible as time is ticking. Photo: AAP

“Also, we believe it is significant that both Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran were only apprehended as a result of the Australian Federal Police providing information to Indonesian Police.

“Their crime, serious as it was, was intended to impact on Australians in Australia, not Indonesia.”

The two Australians were sentenced to death by an Indonesian court in 2006 for trying to smuggle heroin out of the country and into Australia.

They are due to be executed this month.

On Monday night, the ABC’s Q&A panel – including two federal MPs – labelled the Indonesian government’s decision to execute two Australian drug smugglers as “barbaric”.

Clemency plea hopes

Seven other Australians involved in the smuggling ring have been sentenced to life in prison in an Indonesian jail.

Despite pleas for clemency and petitions from the Australian Government, members of the clergy and the men’s distressed mothers, the Indonesian President has so far refused to grant them pardons.

The MPs “humbly request” that the prisoners’ “rehabilitation, their suffering and their families’ suffering” be considered.

“And upon the reasoning of the Indonesian Constitutional Court, we request that their death sentences be commuted to an appropriate term of imprisonment or that they be deported back to Australia on condition they face the criminal justice system here.”

Labor MP Melissa Parke told Parliament on Tuesday that her message to the Indonesian parliament was that the execution “will serve no useful purpose”.

She said she was also hoping to have Parliament pass a motion calling on Indonesia to commute the death sentences to a prison sentence.

Secret preparations being made

Indonesian officials are making secret preparations for the executions of Australian drug smugglers, even as the Federal Government urges them daily to reconsider.

Lawyers for the men had hoped a challenge of their clemency denial would at least put a pause on the executions.

But Indonesia’s Attorney-General HM Prasetyo on Tuesday confirmed plans to execute the men are going ahead.

Australian lawyer Julian McMahon and the consulate Majen Hind visit Kerobokan Prison. Photo: AAP

“It will proceed,” he told reporters.

“We haven’t determined the time yet.”

Denpasar District Chief Prosecutor Imanuel Zebua says officials in Bali, where the two are jailed, are pressing ahead with plans.

They had requested instructions from the attorney-general on the transfer of the pair from Kerobokan to Nusakambangan, a prison island off central Java, where five drug offenders were executed last month.

Mr Imanuel said the move would be secret, kept even from their families.

“It could be on the day before the execution and we don’t have to tell the family first,” he told reporters.

“We also don’t want to tell you (media) either. You could be waiting for us at the airport.”

Mr Chan, 31, and Mr Sukumaran, 33, would be allowed to make a last request, the prosecutor said, and that could be done at Bali’s Kerobokan jail rather than on Nusakambangan.

– ABC, with AAP

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