News World When on death row, no news is good news

When on death row, no news is good news

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The funeral director who prepared the bodies of some of the convicts executed in Indonesia last month says he hasn’t been put on notice for the next round of executions, which is expected to include two Australians.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran remain on death row in Bali after plans to move them to Nusakambangan island for their executions stalled.

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Indonesia’s Attorney-General HM Prasetyo says no new date for the move has been set, with agencies still planning the movement of prisoners for the mass execution.

Besides the Bali Nine duo, seven other drug offenders on death row are in line for execution.

The attorney-general’s department says also that Nusakambangan island, home to several prisons off Central Java, does not have adequate isolation cells.

And the funeral director at Javanese Christian Church in Cilacap, the nearest mainland town to Nusakambangan, says he has not yet been told to prepare.

But Suhendro Putro says he’s ordering extra coffins anyway after having to scramble to fill the police order last month.

Five drug offenders were executed on January 18, but Mr Suhendro had only three coffins.

He was also asked to find more people to help prepare the bodies for burial, including one familiar with Buddhist funeral rites, and ambulances.

As of Friday, he hadn’t been told to get ready for more executions.

“What can I say? I haven’t been told. I am usually told,” he said.

The coffins are ordered from the city of Yogyakarta and it takes time, Mr Suhendro said, “so they can’t tell me all of a sudden”.

There has been speculation that the executions could be delayed for up to a month, after a spokesman for Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla was quoted in local media.

Mr Kalla took a phone call on Thursday from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who reportedly thanked his government for delaying the transfer, enabling Chan and Sukumaran to spend more time with family.

According to his spokesman, Husain Abdullah, Mr Kalla told Ms Bishop the executions had been delayed “three weeks to one month” because of technical issues, some local media reported.

However, Ms Bishop and Mr Prasetyo deny the length of the delay was discussed.

At Kerobokan jail on Friday, meetings to plan the transfer to Nusakambangan jail continued, but no date was set.

“As soon as Nusakambangan is ready, we’ll send them immediately,” Bali chief prosecutor Momock Bambang Samiarso told reporters.

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