Indonesia prepares to execute drug smugglers

President Joko Widodo has refused appeals for clemency. Picture: Getty

President Joko Widodo has refused appeals for clemency. Picture: Getty

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Indonesia is nearly ready to execute nine foreigners and an Indonesian condemned for drug smuggling, as diplomatic squabbles persist over the executions.

The preparations at the execution site have been completed and four foreign convicts will be transferred to Nusakambangan Island’s maximum security prison this week, attorney general Muhammad Prasetyo said.

The four are Australians Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, who are currently in a Bali jail, plus Raheem Agbaje Salami, 45, a Nigerian national who was born in Spain, and Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, 30, from the Philippines. She had her request for a judicial review into her case adjourned until today.

“We are just awaiting a report of their transfer preparation,” Mr Prasetyo said, but gave no date for the executions.

Bali chief prosecutor Momock Bambang Sumiarso said Chan and Sukumaran were due to be moved today.

The four convicts being transferred, plus two Nigerians and four men from Brazil, France, Ghana and Indonesia, will be executed simultaneously by a firing squad on the prison island off Indonesia’s main island, Java.

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The Nigerians face execution after their clemency requests were rejected by Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last month, said Tony Spontana, spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

They are Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, 39, and Okwudili Oyatanze, 40, whose clemency was rejected after he was caught running drug transactions from behind bars.

Mr Jokowi has received phone calls from some foreign leaders asking that the executions be cancelled, but rejected their requests. He vowed not to grant mercy to drug offenders because Indonesia is suffering a “drug emergency”.

The Indonesian government last week recalled its newly designated ambassador for Brazil, Toto Riyanto, to protest over the abrupt postponement of the approval of his credentials by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, amid tensions over the imminent execution of one of its citizens, Rodrigo Gularte, 42.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has called on Indonesia to “reciprocate” for Australia’s massive aid package after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami by sparing his two countrymen. Australia has mounted a sustained diplomatic campaign to try and stop the executions.

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop said: “I will continue to contact counterpart ministers to press for a stay of execution.”

Indonesia executed six drug convicts, including foreigners, in January. More than 130 people are on death row, including 57 drug convicts.

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