Lawyers for the two Australian men on death row in Indonesia say moving them to another prison in preparation for their executions would be an injustice.
Authorities announced on Monday that Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine drug-smuggling ring, would be transferred to Nusa Kambangan Island prison this week.
Chan and Sukumaran have been on death row since 2006 and were recently denied presidential pardons, despite prison officials supporting their clemency bids.
The pair’s lead lawyer, Todong Mulya Lubis, has been summoned to a court next week over the claim that Indonesian president Joko Widodo has not followed the rules in rejecting the pair’s plea for clemency.
He said the court hearing showed that all legal avenues had not yet been tested, and was concerned that if the men were moved out of Bali later this week as expected, it would make it hard to reverse the process.
“They cannot transfer, they cannot move Chan and Sukumaran, let alone kill them, while the legal process is going on,” Mr Lubis said.
“It’s hard to reverse the process once they are moved to Nusa Kembangan.”
Mr Lubis also said the legal system should investigate allegations around some of the judges who granted the death penalty.
Another member of the legal team, Peter Morrissey SC, said any moves by the attorney-general to execute Chan and
Sukumaran should not proceed as long as the court hearing was underway.
“What we’ve got in Indonesia right now is there’s a live court proceeding but the attorney-general keeps threatening to move them and to proceed with the execution,” Mr Morrissey told ABC News Breakfast.
“So it’s as if the courts on the one hand have got a live case but on the other hand the government’s proceeding to execute. That’s just not the rule of law.
“If they give it a proper hearing they will probably never be executed because [Indonesia] might be persuaded.”
Authorities are so far taking little notice of these arguments.
Execution preparations continue
Indonesian foreign affairs staff have briefed officials from diplomatic missions, including a representative from Australia, about what the inmates’ families can expect in the lead-up to the planned executions.
But Mr Lubis said while information was circulating in the media about the pair moving to Nusa Kembangan, the families had not been notified.
According to Australian barrister Michael O’Connell, who has worked on the case since 2007, Chan and Sukumaran are handling the uncertainty and looming timeline well.
“[They are] composed and dignified in the way they are dealing with these very trying times,” Mr O’Connell said.
Bali’s chief prosecutor, Momock Bambang Samiarso, is in charge of organising their transfer to Nusa Kambangan Island, off Java, where they are to be executed as soon as possible.
“We’re going to use air transport. We are still discussing the details but we’re going to use air transport for sure,” he said.
“We will inform you when we [know] the time … it’s not going to happen today or tomorrow, but within the week.”
Authorities have indicated the men are unlikely to be moved before Thursday night.
Bali’s police chief, Albertus Julius Benny Mokalu, said Indonesia’s elite police squad, the Mobile Brigade, would help provide security.
“We will work together with related institutions including the military in regards to security for prisoner transfer, so it will happen smoothly and securely,” he said.
Police from the area where the executions are to take place will be made to fire the bullets.