News World Don’t ‘heat up’ Bali Nine story, says Joko Widodo

Don’t ‘heat up’ Bali Nine story, says Joko Widodo

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has warned reporters not to “heat up” their reporting of the execution of drug smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

The comments came after Mr Widodo was asked what he thought of Prime Minister Tony Abbott drawing a link between tsunami aid and the Bali Nine duo’s death sentences.

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“There’s already been clarification. Don’t you heat this up,” Mr Widodo said.

When asked if Mr Abbott’s comments would affect plans to execute Chan and Sukumaran, Mr Widodo said: “No, that’s our sovereign law”.

Mr Abbott courted controversy last week after saying he would respond in “absolutely unambiguous terms” if the men were killed, reminding the Indonesian government Australia provided aid after the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir described the comments as “threats”.

“I will not speculate what Australia would do but what I know is this: threats are not part of diplomatic language,” Mr Nasir said.

“From what I know, no one responds well to threats.”

The comments come as lawyers for the Bali Nine pair launch a last-ditch attempt to save the men, challenging a presidential decision to deny them clemency.

On Tuesday, their lawyers will front Indonesia’s State Administrative Court to challenge Mr Widodo’s decision to deny them clemency because they were death row drug offenders, without considering their circumstances.

Despite legal efforts, authorities say it’s “very likely” the Bali Nine duo will this week be relocated to the island where Indonesia plans to execute them.

Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo on Monday said preparations were now “about 80 per cent” complete.

– with AAP

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