Indonesia to Rule on Last-Ditch Appeal by Death Row Australian Drug Convicts

By Reuters 6 April 2015

JAKARTA — An Indonesian court will rule on Monday on an appeal against President Joko Widodo’s refusal of clemency for two Australian drug convicts who are facing execution by firing squad.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were convicted in 2006 as the ringleaders of a plot to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.

The pair are among a group of 10 drug convicts due to be executed by firing squad at the prison island of Nusakambangan. Others in the group include citizens of France, Brazil, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Widodo has denied clemency to the convicts despite repeated pleas from Australia, Brazil and France.

Sukumaran and Chan are challenging in an administrative court the president’s blanket rejection, with their lawyers arguing that he did not give due consideration of each case.

If the court rules in their favor, Jokowi may have to reconsider their pleas for clemency. Lawyers said that if their appeal is rejected they will have exhausted all avenues of legal recourse.

The attorney general is awaiting the outcome of legal appeals by three remaining death row inmates before setting a date for executions. A spokesman in his office previously said the intention was for all executions to be carried out together but they could be conducted in batches.

Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.