Indonesia court rejects death row Australians' appeal

Jakarta court rejects last-ditch appeal against imminent execution by ringleaders of drug trafficking gang.

    Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were sentenced to death in 2006 [EPA]
    Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were sentenced to death in 2006 [EPA]

    An Indonesian court has rejected a last-ditch appeal against imminent execution by two Australian drug smugglers.

    Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug trafficking gang, were sentenced to death in 2006 for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.

    The state administrative court in Jakarta on Monday ruled against the final appeal by the men, whose lawyers had challenged Indonesian President Joko Widodo's refusal to grant pardons to any drug smugglers.

    The lawyers, in their latest bid to avoid the executions, had argued that the president should have given due consideration to their cases.

    Joko Widodo defends death penalty in interview with Al Jazeera

    Chan and Sukumaran, in their early 30s, were transferred last month to Nusakambangan prison island, off Java, where they will be put to death with seven other prisoners.

    Indonesia originally said that the executions would take place in February but has delayed the move following an international outcry.

    Australia, Indonesia's neighbour and a key ally, has mounted a sustained diplomatic campaign to stop its citizens being put to death, while France and Brazil have also heaped pressure on Jakarta.

    The executions have been delayed for weeks as authorities waited for legal appeals to finish.

    A French prisoner, Serge Atlaoui, and a Filipina, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, have also lodged appeals to their death sentences, which are currently working their way through the courts.

    Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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