|Nusakambangan Island, off Java, where Indonesia carries out its executions.|
The Indonesian government has ordered that preparations be made for the executions of Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran as well as eight others on death row.
Tony Spontana, a spokesman for the Indonesian attorney-general, said the head of General Crimes had issued letters ordering prosecutors to start preparing for the executions.
Mr Spontana said orders were sent on Thursday but it was unclear when the prosecutors would receive them or how quickly the executions could be arranged.
He said the letters were not the final notification that must be given to the condemned inmates.
Indonesia is required to give three days' notice to the men before they face a firing squad.
Authorities had planned to execute the Australian pair in February, but it was put on hold until all legal challenges were completed.
Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced to death in Indonesia for attempting to smuggle heroin home from Indonesia 10 years ago.
They were denied a chance to have their clemency bids reviewed and the Indonesian government said they had run out of legal options.
On Tuesday, Indonesia's government-owned news service Antara quoted president Joko Widodo as saying it was "only a matter of time" before the executions happened.
"When it will be done is no longer a question," he said.
"It is only awaiting the conclusion of all procedures and the legal process, which I will not interfere in."
Earlier this month, the pair's lawyers filed a constitutional court challenge questioning the Indonesian president's process of refusing to pardon them from the death penalty.
The appeal was rejected when three judges from Indonesia's state administrative court said clemency fell under the constitution but not under administrative law, and so was not in their jurisdiction.
Indonesian attorney-general Muhammad Prasetyo told one of the pair's lawyers Todung Mulya Lubis the case would not be enough to stop the pair from being executed.
Source: ABC.net.au, George Roberts, April 24, 2015 (local time)
Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran: execution letters sent
|Indonesia's Attorney-General M. Prasetyo|
IN OMINOUS signs for the Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the Indonesian Attorney-General’s office has sent letters to the prosecutors of all 10 death row prisoners due to face the firing squad, ordering them to prepare the executions.
The letters were sent on Thursday and authorities say they are the official orders to get everything prepared ahead of the date of the executions being announced.
The Attorney-General’s spokesman, Tony Spontana, was quoted on Indonesian wire service, Detik, as saying the only thing left now was to announce the date.
The lawyer for a Nigerian man scheduled for execution with Chan and Sukumaran says the embassy has been summoned to Central Java, a likely sign the date is imminent.
Utomo Karim, lawyer for Raheem Salami, said the Nigerian embassy received a letter asking it to go to Cilacap, the port closest to Nusakambangan, on Saturday.
“Based on experience from the previous execution, they’re going to tell them the date for the execution,” he told AAP.
Indonesia is required to give 72 hours notice of the executions.
Chan and Sukumaran are in the same cell block as Salami on Nusakambangan, where they and six other drug offenders await execution by firing squad.
Mr Utomo says based on the experience of the Nigerian embassy in January, when six people were executed, the Saturday meeting means the date is drawing near.
“Last time, when we were asked to gather in the district prosecutor’s office, we were then taken to Nusakambangan to tell the convict about the execution time,” he said.
“And three days after that, they were executed. I don’t know whether other embassies have been notified at the same.”
Mr Spontana indicated that only one legal matter was now outstanding — that of an Indonesian man whose judicial review is still before the Supreme Court but is expected to be finalised within days.
News of the letters being sent out is a devastating new development for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and their families and lawyers, who had hoped they would be granted another legal challenge.
The Attorney-General has already suggested that a Constitutional Court challenge by lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran will not be taken into account and will not delay the executions.
The judicial reviews of two others — a French and Ghanaian man — were dismissed this week, paving the way for the Indonesian authorities to push ahead with their plans to execute 10 drug traffickers, including nine foreigners.
Detik quotes Mr Spontana as saying that the letters of the orders for the executions were sent on Thursday by the junior prosecutor for general crimes to the prosecutors of all 10 to be shot by firing squad.
The letters are the orders for the prosecutors, who are in charge of the executions, to get prepared. But he said the Attorney-General had yet to set the actual date.
“The letter if for preparation, implementation and reporting after the execution,” Mr Spontana said.
He said the Attorney-General was now only waiting for the judicial review of Indonesian man Zainal Abidin to be rejected before going ahead with the executions.
Authorities had previously said that the executions would not be done while the Asia-Africa Summit was on in Indonesia. That finishes on Friday.
Source: News.net.au, April 24, 2015 (local time)
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