News World Bali Nine’s Chan marries fiancee in final hours

Bali Nine’s Chan marries fiancee in final hours

Andrew Chan has married his fiancee Feby Herewila
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Bali Nine convicted drug smuggler Andrew Chan has married his fiancee Feby Herewila in what could be his last hours alive on death row.

Chan’s brother Michael returned from Nusakambangan on Monday night and announced the news.

“Feby and Andrew had a bit of a celebration this evening,” he said.

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”It was celebrated with some family and close friends. We’d just like to celebrate that with him tomorrow as well so hopefully the president will still show some compassion, some mercy so that these two young people can carry on with their lives.

The clock is ticking for Chan and Sukumaran.
The clock is ticking for Chan and Sukumaran.

“It’s in the president’s hands.”

Unless President Joko Widodo has a change of heart, Chan will likely face the firing squad around midnight on Tuesday (0300 Wednesday AEST), alongside Myuran Sukumaran.

Chan and Sukumaran, who were arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs out of Indonesia, are spending what could be the last several hours of their lives with their families, as the clock ticks towards their impending deaths.

Late on Monday, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court agreed to consider a last-ditch legal challenge to the country’s clemency laws on May 12.

However, the court ruling won’t affect the executions of the pair, unless Mr Widodo or Attorney-General HM Prasetyo step in.

On Saturday, the Bali Nine ringleaders received formal notification from Indonesian authorities that they will soon be shot for trying to export more than eight kilograms of heroin to Australia.

But Foreign Minister Julie Bishop gave a strongly-worded press conference on Monday over the imminent execution of the duo, saying she is “very disappointed” in the Indonesian government.

Ms Bishop said her representations to Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi had been ignored, including that the men not be given notice of their execution on Anzac Day.

“I am profoundly dismayed that the Indonesian authorities have given Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran 72 hours’ notice of their executions,” Ms Bishop said.

“We did make representations to request that they not do this on our national day of remembrance but they proceeded.”

To add to the despair, the Chan and Sukumaran families lost more than three hours of precious time with their sons and brothers on Monday over bureaucratic red tape.

They were turned away at Cilacap port followed by Australia’s consul-general to Bali, Majell Hind, and lawyer Julian McMahon, after being told the visitation rules had changed.

They were later allowed passage to Nusakambangan for what would be their second-last visit.

It is understood they have been advised to say their last goodbyes on Tuesday afternoon.

Sukumaran’s brother, Chinthu, also issued another desperate plea for President Joko Widodo on behalf of his brother.

“I spent the last five hours watching young children playing with their parents,” he said.

“I ask the president to not make orphans out of children, widows … there are family members just crying inside the prison, as we count down the hours, to please step up and have mercy.”

Amnesty international and Sydney Bali Nine activists held a vigil.
Amnesty international and Sydney Bali Nine activists held a vigil. Photo: Getty

Vigils were held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne on Monday night for the convicted drug smugglers.

Candles were lit and paintings of the men were carried by about 50 supporters outside the Indonesian consulate in Sydney.

The two men were arrested at Denpasar airport in April 2005 and sentenced in 2006 to execution by firing squad.

The pair have been refused clemency by Indonesian President Joko Widodo as part of a hardline stance on the death penalty for convicted drug criminals.

‘Corruption allegations’

In a further development, a former lawyer for Chan and Sukumaran told Fairfax the judges who sentenced the pair to death were willing to give a lighter sentence.

Bali-based Mohammad Rifan alleged the judges initially asked for a payment $130,000 in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

Chan and Sukumaran’s Australian lawyer Peter Morrissey said the planned executions must be postponed while the allegation of judicial corruption is investigated.

Indonesia’s Judicial Commission said it would investigate the allegations, but said its findings would have no bearing on the pair’s cases.

But on Monday afternoon Mr Widodo questioned why bribery claims around the death sentences of Chan and Sukumaran were only being aired hours before their executions are due.

“Things like this should have been conveyed years ago. That’s my answer,” Mr Widodo said.

Mr Widodo is under pressure from governments and rights groups globally to stay the executions of the Australians and seven others expected after midnight on Tuesday.

He was returning from an ASEAN meeting in Malaysia where Philippine President Benigno Aquino sought clemency for his death row citizen Mary Jane Veloso.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott wrote to Mr Widodo at the weekend to make another plea for clemency for the pair.

Ms Bishop has revealed Mr Abbott also spoke to Mr Widodo about the pair in March, while attending the funeral of Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew.

with AAP/ABC

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