Halt ex­e­cu­tions un­til graft claims probed: Oz

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY MARTIN PARRY

Australia urged In­done­sia Mon­day to de­lay the ex­e­cu­tion of two men for drug of­fenses un­til a cor­rup­tion probe into their case is com­plete, af­ter a re­port that judges sought tens of thou­sands of dol­lars in bribes.

“Bali Nine” drug traf­fick­ers Myu­ran Suku­maran and An­drew Chan could face the fir­ing squad within days, along with oth­ers from Brazil, Nige­ria, the Philip­pines and an In­done­sian prisoner.

Aus­tralian me­dia showed pho­tos of crosses pre­pared by a mor­ti­cian that will be used to mark their coffins, in­scribed with the date 29.04.2015.

But For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop said the death row con­victs should not be shot while legal ques­tion marks re­main over their cases.

Bishop spoke to her In­done­sian coun­ter­part Retno Mar­sudi on Sun­day evening, while Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott has writ­ten to Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo to re­new his plea for the ex­e­cu­tions to be halted.

Ab­bott mean­while stressed his op­po­si­tion to the death penalty “in all cases” on a visit to Paris on Mon­day, a view echoed by French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande in a sep­a­rate state­ment.

A French­man is on death row in In­done­sia but is not among those fac­ing ex­e­cu­tion within days.

On Mon­day Fair­fax Me­dia pub­lished al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion by the judges who sen­tenced the pair in 2006, claim­ing they asked for more than 1t bil­lion ru­piah — around US$ 77,000 at the time — to pass a pri­son sen­tence of less than 20 years.

It cited their then- In­done­sian lawyer, Muham­mad Ri­fan, who claimed a deal fell through af­ter an in­ter­ven­tion by Jakarta, which al­legedly or­dered the pair be given the death penalty.

He said he de­cided to go public given that the ex­e­cu­tions were im­mi­nent and that the Ju­di­cial Com­mis­sion, the In­done­sian body that safe­guards the pro­bity of judges, had yet to com­plete its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­leged re­quests for bribes.

At least one of the judges in the case de­nied to Fair­fax there had been po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence or ne­go­ti­a­tions about bribes.

In­done­sia’s Ju­di­cial Com­mis­sion chief Tau­fiqur­rah­man Syahuri said that the body’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion would not de­lay the loom­ing ex­e­cu­tions.

Chan on Mon­day mar­ried his In­done­sian girl­friend on the pri­son is­land of Nusakam­ban­gan, where In­done­sia puts con­demned pris­on­ers to death, with his brother urg­ing Wi­dodo to show com­pas­sion to the new­ly­weds.

Ear­lier, the fam­i­lies of Chan, Suku­maran and Philip­pine con­vict Mary Jane Veloso headed to the is­land for what could be one of their last vis­its.

It came as world boxing su­per­star Manny Pac­quiao took time out from prepa­ra­tions for his megafight with Floyd May­weather to plead for the life of Veloso, adding his voice to a cho­rus of global op­po­si­tion led by United Na­tions Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki- moon.

How­ever, there was more bad news for Veloso Mon­day, with the Philip­pine depart­ment of for­eign af­fairs con­firm­ing her ap­pli­ca­tion for a sec­ond ju­di­cial re­view of her case had been re­jected.

AFP

Par­tic­i­pants place flow­ers dur­ing a can­dle­light vigil on Syd­ney Har­bour fore­shore on Mon­day, April 27.

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