"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Indonesia fast-tracking death row appeals

The legal appeals of some of the death row prisoners Indonesia plans to execute alongside two Australians are being rushed through the courts.

The move comes at the request of Indonesia's Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo, who wants to settle on a date for the firing squad.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan's execution on Nusakambangan island has stalled while Jakarta waits for them and other death row drug offenders to use up their legal avenues.

Of the 10 awaiting the firing squad, four are pursuing cases in the administrative court and three are seeking Supreme Court judicial reviews - a move that has already failed for the Bali Nine pair.

Mr Prasetyo's office on Thursday confirmed the judicial review application of a Filipino woman had been rejected after only days before the Supreme Court.

It usually takes three months to consider such applications but Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso's was distributed to three judges on March 20 and rejected on Wednesday.

Veloso was considered to have a good chance for a review and it was thought this would delay the executions for some months, as Indonesia insists on sending 10 prisoners to the firing squad simultaneously.

Mr Prasetyo says he has negotiated with the Supreme Court to ensure the fastest turnaround.

"I have co-ordinated with the Supreme Court so that judicial review decisions can be issued as soon as possible so the executions later will be fair,' he said, as quoted by Indonesian news website okezone.com

"It means there will be no more legal avenues left."

The other two prisoners seeking judicial reviews are Frenchman Serge Atlaoui and Ghanian Martin Anderson.

Chan and Sukumaran have an appeal in the administrative court, that if won, would see their lawyers argue the blanket rejection of clemency did not follow due process.

President Joko Widodo is denying clemency to all death row drug offenders, regardless of rehabilitation or other factors, believing it will shock Indonesia out of its drug problem.

An expert witness for Chan and Sukumaran's defence could not attend court on Wednesday and was scheduled for Monday.

The attorney-general says the case is "unusual".

"The last I heard, the two Bali Nine convicts couldn't bring their expert witness to prove their reasoning," he reportedly said.

"Their challenge of clemency is unusual.

"It's the president's discretion and so there shouldn't be anyone who can prevent it."

Lawyers for Veloso thought she had a good chance for a judicial review because she did not have a qualified translator at her trial.

The 30-year-old single mother was arrested at a central Java airport in 2010, with 2.6kg of heroin in her suitcase.

Her lawyers and family say she's an unwitting victim of an international syndicate.


Myuran Sukumaran (Australia) and Andrew Chan (Australia)

- appealing the administrative court's decision to reject their challenge of the clemency rejections with hearings to finish on April 1

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso (Philippines)

- judicial review request rejected

Serge Areski Atlaoui (France)

- has applied for a judicial review, adjourned to April 1

Raheem Agbaje Salami (Nigeria) -

his administrative court challenge was thrown out, appeal set for March 31

Silvester Obiekwe (Nigeria)

- his administrative court challenge was also thrown out, no word yet on an appeal

Martin Anderson alias Belo (Ghana)

- application for a judicial review to be finalised on Wednesday

Zainal Abidin (Indonesia)

- judicial review request rejected

Rodrigo Gularte (Brazil)

Okwudili Ayotanze (Nigeria)

Source: AAP, March 27, 2015 (local time)

Bali Nine: Chan And Sukumaran’s Lawyers Present New Evidence To Court

Lawyers for Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have presented new evidence in administrative court. The Australians’ legal team will return to the Jakarta court with an expert witness to help them with their case.

Chan and Sukumaran’s lawyers filed an appeal in the administrative court in February, challenging Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s blanket ban on clemency that affected 64 death row inmates. The Bali Nine duo’s lawyers argued that the president did not review individual cases on their merits as required by law, adding the leader failed to follow the due process by denying all the appeals at once.

The administrative court rejected their application, saying that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. The lawyers have then filed an appeal. And on Wednesday, lawyer Leonard Arpan revealed that they have presented new evidence on laws on the president’s prerogative rights to the Jakarta court. They will return to court with an expert witness on Monday.

It is expected that the witness will give evidence relating to the dismissal of the appeal. If not, Rusdihadi Teguh, a lawyer for the state, told reporters that they would object.

Chan and Sukumaran were transferred from the Kerobokan prison to Nusakambangan Island earlier in March in preparation for their execution. However, they may have to wait for months before the grim event. The Supreme Court has decided to review the case of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, a Philippine national set to be executed alongside Chan and Sukumaran, and the entire proceeding may take around three months to complete.

Attorney-General spokesman Tony Spontana said that they would wait for all legal procedures to be over before they would proceed with the execution. Simultaneous executions are believed to be “more efficient and effective.” With Veloso’s case under review, the Bali Nine pair, as well as the other seven death row convicts who would face the firing squad with them, have been given more time. Chan and Sukumaran remain in Nusakambangan Island as they wait for all their legal avenues to be exhausted.

Meanwhile, Mr Widodo is too busy to take Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s call about the Bali Nine pair in death row. The Asian country’s envoy in Australia, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, said on Thursday that the Indonesian leader had not talked to his Australian counterpart ever since their initial phone call.

“The second and the third time – the President was so busy,” Kesoema said in Canberra. He added that the president’s first program is to visit his people in the provinces.

Source: International Business Times, March 27, 2015 (local time)

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