Sunday, February 3, 2013

Indonesia: First State Executions Since 2008 on Horizon With 12 Facing Firing Squad

Australians Myuran Sukumaran
and Andrew Chan
The Attorney General’s Office has revealed that 12 death row inmates are liable to face the firing squad after exhausting all avenues for appeal, in the first state executions since 2008.

Basrief Arief, the attorney general, said on Friday that there was little chance of these individuals seeing their sentences commuted to prison terms.

Unless the president granted them clemency, there was theoretically no obstacle in the way of carrying out their executions.

“These 12 inmates can be executed because there’s no legal recourse left for them,” he said.

“On the matter of a presidential clemency, we’ll have to see if they have legitimate grounds to seek one.”

He added that his office planned to carry out the executions soon, but would not give any exact dates. He also refused to divulge the identities of the inmates.

“All I can say is that we’re preparing for the executions, which will happen soon,” Basrief said.

“We can’t say when exactly, but God willing in the near future we will carry out the executions.”

While the identities of the 12 facing imminent death remains unknown, at least two foreigners are known to have exhausted all legal avenues for appeal and are awaiting a response from the president on their clemency pleas.

They are Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, both members of the Bali Nine gang who were sentenced to death in 2006 for their roles in an attempt to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin into the resort island of Bali.

Both men filed pleas for clemency last July, but there has been no response yet from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has previously stated his opposition to granting clemency to drug traffickers.

Another death row inmate with a clemency plea pending is Verry Idham Henyansyah, a serial killer commonly known as Ryan.

He was sentenced to death in 2009 for the murder of his boyfriend. He was also linked to at least 10 other murders, but never tried for them.

If the executions go ahead, they will be the first in the country since November 2008, when three terrorists convicted of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings were killed by firing squad.

Ten people were executed that year, compared to 11 in the preceding decade.

Basrief previously attributed the lack of executions since then to the long appeals process, saying he wanted it shortened.

Source: Jakarta Globe, February 2, 2013