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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

'We will no longer wait': Time runs out for Bali Nine duo

Family members of Filipina maid Mary Jane Veloso facing execution in Indonesia appeal for clemency
Family members of Filipina maid Mary Jane Veloso facing execution in
Indonesia appeal for clemency.
The executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be unaffected by their next legal challenge because any win would not be retrospective, Indonesia's attorney-general says.

The Bali Nine pair lost a bid to challenge their clemency rejections, with the state administrative court upholding its earlier decision that the presidential decrees were outside its jurisdiction.

Jakarta is waiting on the legal efforts of a few other prisoners before setting an execution date.

Chan and Sukumaran's lawyers plan to move their battle to save the men to the constitutional court.

Attorney-General HM Prasetyo has dismissed such plans as delaying tactics and says he won't wait for the result of another court case.

"What we respect is the legal process, not the ones challenging it," he told reporters.

"I hear they're going to challenge to the constitutional court. Go ahead!

"That's their business, but we're not affected by that."

Mr Prasetyo says even if the constitutional court agrees to clarify the president's role on clemency decisions, its decision won't apply to Chan and Sukumaran, but future cases only.

"If (the challenge) is accepted, it won't be for existing decisions," he said.

"We will no longer wait."

Two of the other eight prisoners in line for execution with the Australians have applied for Supreme Court judicial reviews, while another is also pursuing an administrative court case.

Source: TVNZ, April 8, 2015


Filipina's family begs Widodo for her life

THE family of a Filipina on death row with Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia has made a tearful appeal for her life, insisting that an international drug syndicate duped the single mother of two.

MARY Jane Veloso, 30, has been in an Indonesian jail for five years after being caught at Yogyakarta airport with 2.6 kilograms of heroin, and is among a batch of foreigners facing imminent execution.

But her parents and sister said a crime syndicate involving a friend had deceived her, and she did not know the drugs had been sown into her suitcase before flying from Malaysia.

"Please don't kill my sister. She is innocent. If you kill her, you will have blood on your hands," Veloso's elder sister Marites Veloso-Laurente said in a plea to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Jakarta is waiting on the appeal efforts of Veloso and a few other prisoners before setting an execution date for the entire group of 10 prisoners, including Chan and Sukumaran.

With tears streaming down his cheeks, Veloso's father said the syndicate that used her as an unwitting drug mule had pledged to kill all family members if they reported the racket to authorities or went to the media.

"Life's been hard. We've been living in fear. My daughter's recruiters have been threatening us... they threatened to kill us one by one," said 59-year-old Cesar Veloso.

The family is from a poor farming town about three hours' drive north of Manila, and Veloso had sought to provide for her two young sons by working as a maid overseas.

Veloso's mother, 55, insisted that if her daughter was involved in the drug trade, her family would have seen some benefits of it.

"We beg you, Mr Indonesian president, if my daughter was involved in drugs, we wouldn't be this poor," she said.

The Indonesian Supreme Court last week denied Veloso's request to review her conviction.

The Philippine government said Wednesday it would file a second appeal.

Veloso's parents and sons also visited the Indonesian embassy in Manila on Wednesday to lodge a letter appealing to Widodo for mercy.

Source: AAP, April 8, 2015


Australia doing all it can to save Bali Nine death row pair: Abbott

Tony Abbott (L), Joko Widodo (R)
SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday (Apr 8) Australia is doing everything it can to save two drug smugglers sentenced to face the firing squad in Indonesia, following the loss of their latest legal appeal.

On Monday, a Jakarta court dismissed Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's challenge against the rejection of their pleas for clemency.

Indonesia's legal chief then said they had exhausted all options to avoid the death penalty, but their lawyers insist legal avenues remain open.

"We are continuing to do everything we possibly can for them" said Mr Abbott in his first comments since Monday's decision. "That's what we're doing. Everyone knows Australia's position on the death penalty."

"I have certainly made our position very clear"

Earlier this year, the pair's appeals for clemency - typically a death row convict's final chance of avoiding the firing squad - were rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

In Monday's ruling, the State Administrative Court upheld a decision that it does not have the authority to hear a challenge to Widodo's rejection. Meanwhile, Mr Abbott claimed he had spoken to the Indonesian leader again about the Bali pair.

"I have had a number of conversations with President Widodo on this issue. I'm not going to go into what was said but I have certainly made our position very clear," said the Australian Prime Minister.

Thirty-three-year-old Sukumaran and 31-year-old Chan were the ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug trafficking gang, who were sentenced to death in 2006 for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.

Earlier this year, Indonesia executed six drug offenders, including five foreigners, prompting Brazil and the Netherlands to recall their ambassadors, as their citizens were among those put to death.

Source: Channel News Asia, April 8, 2015

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