News World ‘I wouldn’t give up hope’

‘I wouldn’t give up hope’

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The senior editor of The Jakarta Post newspaper says there is still hope that Indonesia’s president might offer clemency to the two Australians on death row.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the coordinators of the heroin smuggling group known as the Bali Nine, have had their execution for drug offences delayed until at least the end of the month.

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Veteran editor Endy Bayuni has told the ABC’s AM program there is “always hope for a reprieve”.

“I think as far as the legal process, that’s really the end of it. But there’s always hope. Until the execution takes place, there’s always hope for a reprieve and the president may change his mind,” he said.

“The court may take into consideration the appeals and the evidence that has been presented. There is hope, you know. I would not give up any hope. There’s still a chance for a reprieve.”

But he said the majority of Indonesians supported the executions, despite repeated calls for clemency from people arguing Chan and Sukumaran have been rehabilitated.

“I think because the public opinion is going with the president,” he said.

“If anyone should decide that there should be a clemency because these people have rehabilitated, the president should know that and then he should make the decision based on that.

“And I think the Indonesian public is just going with what the president has said: that they have been refused a clemency and, irrespective of what stories they hear from the prison, again like I said, the majority public opinion is going along with the president.”

Military to defend executions from ‘possible threats’

Meanwhile, special Indonesian military units are preparing to defend the planned executions of the two Australians against “possible threats”.

The country’s government-owned newswire, Antara, is quoting the head of Indonesia’s military as saying that weapons and intelligence apparatus are being mobilised to protect the executions.

General Moeldoko is quoted as saying that the military preparations are not aimed at any one country, but that special unit commanders would be prepared in consultation with the country’s attorney-general.

Chan and Sukumaran were to be taken to an island prison in preparation for execution by firing squad this week, but that has been postponed.

A preliminary hearing is due in the administrative court in East Jakarta next week, with Chan and Sukumaran’s lawyers attempting to have a full hearing granted so they can challenge the president’s decision to deny them a pardon.

The lawyers are set to argue that Indonesian president Joko Widodo did not give the men’s cases genuine and proper consideration.

The appeal is an attempt to delay the executions and force the president to reconsider the men’s argument that their rehabilitation should grant them a second chance at life.

The appeal is Chan and Sukumaran’s last chance, and their lawyers admit it was a tough and complicated argument to make.

There were also questions over whether the court has the jurisdiction to rule on a challenge to the president.