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

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Indonesia: International drug offenders now dropping appeals

Masaru Kawada
Masaru Kawada
Japanese man 2nd foreigner this month to drop appeal after execution of 14 foreign nationals in fear it will be increased to death penalty

A Japanese man sentenced to life imprisonment in Indonesia for possessing crystal meth has dropped an appeal against his sentence for fear it will be increased to the death penalty.

The man is the 2nd foreigner this month to forego such an appeal in the wake of 14 foreign nationals being put to death in Indonesia so far this year.

Lawyer Syusvida Lastri told the Jakarta Post on Friday that defendant Masaru Kawada had withdrawn the appeal as he was afraid his sentence could be increased.

"We asked Kawada again whether or not he would file for an appeal, and he decided to accept the verdict and withdraw the appeal," said Syusvida.

She said the 73-year-old had come to his decision in consideration of the government's policy on drug offenders.

Since President Joko Widodo declared a "drug emergency," he has insisted he will reject clemency pleas from 60 drug convicts scheduled to be executed.

So far this year, 14 have been put to death, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

According to court documents, Kawada was asked by a man identified as Edward Mark to travel to Macau last November.

He paid for Kawada's tickets and accommodation and gave him US$500 for travel expenses.

While in Macau, Kawada met a Chinese woman, identified as Sherly, who asked him to take a bag to a friend in Padang, West Sumatra.

Kawada has said that he didn't know there were drugs in the bag, and only realized it upon his arrival at Minangkabau International Airport where customs officials searched him and found 2.35 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

Earlier in May, a Russian woman serving 16 years in prison accepted a verdict against her and refused to appeal in fear of a harsher penalty.

Kompas.com. quoted Aleksandra's lawyer, Heru Purwanto, as saying that she was scared that if she made such an appeal she "would get a harsher penalty."

"A lot of news about foreigners who had been executed made her scared," he added.

Earlier this week, Indonesia's Administrative Court said it would hear a last-ditch appeal by a Frenchman on death row, after it was delayed due to the absence of the presiding judge.

The hearing has been rescheduled for June 3 and a verdict is expected soon after.

Serge Atlaoui had been due to face the firing squad with eight other prisoners in April but won a last-minute reprieve.

The father-of-4 was arrested in 2005 in an ecstasy laboratory near Jakarta, which he claims he thought was an acrylics factory where he was installing machinery.

French President Francois Hollande has warned Indonesia of diplomatic consequence if it follows through with the death sentence.

Attorney General's Office Spokesperson Tony Spontana told Anadolu Agency Friday that Atlaoui's current legal challenge would be his last.

If the court refuses, then the office can decide whether he will be executed alone or together with other prisoners, he added.

Source: videonews.us, May 30, 2015

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