Indonesia postpones executions

2015-02-21 07:57
File: AP

File: AP

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Jakarta - Indonesia postponed plans to execute eight drug convicts on death row for up to three weeks, citing a delay in preparations, the attorney general's office said on Friday.

No precise date had been given for the execution of the prisoners, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, but the sentence had been widely expected to be carried out before the end of the month.

But Attorney General spokesperson Tony Spontana said facilities on Nusakambangan penal island off Java were still being renovated.

"Because of the technical reasons, the executions are likely to postponed for two or three weeks," Spontana said.

"We have not decided on a date yet, but once the renovation is finished we will immediately transfer them, maybe next week," he said.

Tony Abbott’s remarks

Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop phoned Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla on Thursday, thanking him for the delay in the executions, Kalla's spokesperson Husain Abdullah told local media.

The call came after Indonesia criticised remarks by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott pointing out the $1bn in aid Australia gave to Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami.

Indonesia has also brushed aside a suggestion by Bishop that Australians might stop visiting the country if the executions go ahead.

Other convicts expected to be shot by firing squad in the second round of executions this year include one each from Brazil, France, Ghana, the Philippines, Nigeria and Indonesia.

The Australian government has repeatedly appealed to Indonesia to show mercy to Chan, 31 and Sukumaran, 33, saying they have been rehabilitated.

Chan and Sukumaran were the ringleaders of the Bali Nine, who were arrested in Indonesia in 2005 for trying to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin to Australia.

This week, the family of the Brazilian drug convict, Rodrigo Gularte, also appealed to the government to spare him, saying he has been diagnosed with mental illness.

Read more on:    tony abbott  |  australia  |  indonesia

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