The two Bali so-called ‘Bali Nine’ prisoners due to face a firing squad may have a lifeline as their imminent execution appears to have been delayed.
Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were due to be transferred to a prison on the island of Nusakambangan this week where the execution is due to be conducted, but that move has been apparently postponed.
Legal representative Todung Mulya Lubis argued in court on Monday that the pair had two appeals still pending that the Indonesian courts were obliged to finish considering and rule on before the executions could take place.
“It’s a good sign,” Lubis told Fairfax Media upon learning of the apparent delay. “But I don’t know for how long.”
Indonesia authorities have said the reprieve was to give the condemned prisoners more time with their families.
In a news conference on Tuesday though, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi reiterated the Indonesian government’s hardline stance on drugs trafficking and deflected repeated appeals from the Australian government to spare the prisoners’ lives.
“The issue has reached a critical stage…the government of Indonesia is committed to addressing this heinous problem,” she said.
“Although we understand the position of the Australian government, it should be underlined that this issue is purely a law enforcement issue.
“The decision to impose the death penalty by the Indonesian court is not directed towards any country nor nationals of certain countries, but it is directed towards extraordinary crimes.”
IMAGE: Indonesian lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis (L) beside Australian lawyer Michael O’Connell (R) representing two convicted Australian drug traffickers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, holds a document during a press conference in Jakarta on February 16, 2015. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)