An Indonesian court has thrown out an appeal to examine the way in which the country’s president considered the clemency request for Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
A preliminary hearing in the state administrative court heard arguments that president Joko Widodo should reconsider clemency for the Australians.
But Justice Hendro Puspito said the court does not have the authority to try the case, that clemency is a gift from the president, and that right is not part of an administrative dispute.
The team fighting to save Chan and Sukumaran from the firing squad said they would challenge the court’s decision.
Todong Mulya Lubis, a leading lawyer in the case, said he was disappointed and had asked the Indonesian attorney-general to recognise that the legal process was still in play.
Mr Lubis said they had 14 days to appeal and would do so.
He called on Attorney-General HM Prasetyo to respect the rule of law and halt the executions pending the appeal.
“We live in a state based on law and this is part of the legal process,” he said.
A spokesman for Mr Prasetyo said he wouldn’t comment on the outcome as the challenge didn’t involve his office.
Mr Joko meanwhile said no intervention would stop the executions of Chan, Sukumaran and other foreigners.
“It’s our sovereign law, our political sovereignty,” he told reporters on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com
Barrister for Chan and Sukumaran, Julian McMahon, said the court’s decision was disappointing. But the objective remained to have the merits of the men’s case for clemency heard in a court.
The men were scheduled to be taken away from Bali last week to another island for execution, but that was delayed for technical reasons.
Mr Widodo has refused to consider pardoning any drug smugglers from the death penalty and admitted denying 64 clemency bids in one go.
Mr Mulya said his legal challenge centred on the president’s alleged failure to follow due process and consider the cases properly.
Indonesia reconsiders foreign relations over execution protests
Meanwhile, Indonesia indicated it was willing to look at all aspects of its relations with foreign countries offended over the use of the death penalty.
A Brazilian citizen was executed by Indonesia last month and a second is set to face the firing squad for drug crimes.
At the weekend Indonesia’s ambassador to Brazil was recalled after he was denied without warning the chance to present his credentials in an official ceremony.
“The plan was I go first, but when my turn came I was called by their foreign affairs minister, taken to a room, and the minister said that the credentials for my turn is postponed,” Toto Riyanto said.
Indonesia’s foreign ministry said the action was undiplomatic and was looking at all aspects of its relations with Brazil.
Like Australia, Brazil has key trade and defence interests with Indonesia, and a high-profile member of Indonesia’s political, security and foreign affairs parliamentary committee has talked about reconsidering deals to buy weapons systems from Brazil.
Indonesian foreign affairs spokesman Armanatha Nasir said his country was demanding their would-be ambassador be formally accepted by Brazil.
“Apologies will also be attached to it,” he said.
Australia’s effort to secure clemency for Chan and Sukumaran is receiving more attention in the local media, often portrayed as foreign intervention in a law enforcement decision.
Australia has not indicated what diplomatic protest it might take if the executions proceed, but Indonesia is sending signals to the rest of the world it is willing to put all strategic and trade relationships under review.
“This is an issue of law enforcement. Again we have conveyed that to every country,” Mr Nasir said.
“Again this is not directed to any particular country. It’s not directed to nationals of any particular country.”