Tag Archives: Indonesia

Indonesia executes 8 drug smugglers by firing squad

(CNN)Two Australians who’d been convicted of drug smuggling were executed Tuesday in Indonesia, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said at a press conference.

The Australians were among the eight drug smugglers put to death on Tuesday, the Reuters news agency has reported, citing local media. The prisoners faced a 12-man firing squad on Nusa Kambangan island in Central Java.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, appearing at a press conference, condemned the executions and said Australia would immediately withdraw its ambassador to Indonesia for consultations.

Abbott called the executions "cruel and unnecessary" because both men, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, had been "fully rehabilitated" during a decade in prison.

Abbott didn’t say what permanent actions, if any, would be taken against Indonesia. "This is a dark moment in the relationship, but I’m sure the relationship will be restored," he said.

The Indonesian government had announced that nine prisoners would be executed, but according to local reports, Filipina Mary Jane Veloso was spared, at least for now.

    Lawyers fighting to delay the death of Veloso, a domestic helper and mother of two, have said they’ve given up their bid after her second legal review was rejected on Monday. This came despite a last-minute personal appeal from Philippines President Benigno Aquino to Indonesian counterpart President Joko Widodo.

    The Australians executed were part of the so-called Bali Nine.

    Chan married his longtime girlfriend Febyanti Herewila in prison on Monday.

    The executions of Sukumaran and Chan come despite the fact that both this week received a court date of May 12 to hear an outstanding legal challenge.

    Lawyers for the men also say Indonesia’s Judicial Commission has yet to properly investigate claims of corruption during their original trial and sentencing. They say three of the men’s Indonesian lawyers had been summoned to attend the commission on May 7.

    It’s a day their families and friends hoped would never come, but it’s also one that Indonesia, despite years of protest and legal appeals, has insisted had to happen.

     

    What you need to know about Indonesia drug executions

     

    Under Indonesian law, the death penalty is carried out by a 12-man firing squad, although only three guns are loaded with live ammunition.

    Prisoners are given the choice of whether to stand or sit, and whether they want to wear a blindfold, hood or nothing. The shots — aimed at the heart — are fired from between 5 and 10 meters (16 to 33 feet), according to Amnesty International.

    On Tuesday, the prisoners’ families were heard wailing as they boarded a boat for what’s expected to be their final goodbyes. Reporters at the port in Cilacap described harrowing scenes on Twitter.

    "Myu’s sister Brintha collapsed in screams. Helen Chan was supported by 2 women. Truly heartbreaking. #Bali9," wrote Nine News reporter Jayne Azzopardi.

    CONTINUE READING….

    Bali nine men brace for execution on Tuesday

    April 26, 2015 – 11:27PM

     

    Jewel Topsfield

    Jewel Topsfield
    Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax

    Myuran Sukumaran has painted what could be his last self-portrait: a torso with a palm-sized black hole over the heart dripping with blood.

    The eerie painting, brought back from Nusakambangan by their lawyer Julian McMahon, is a portent of Bali nine pair’s  ghastly fate –  death by firing squad.

    Michael Chan and Chinthu Sukumaran, brothers of the two Australians facing execution, give a press conference at Wijaya Pura, Cilacap.

    Michael Chan and Chinthu Sukumaran, brothers of the two Australians facing execution, give a press conference at Wijaya Pura, Cilacap. Photo: James Brickwood

    Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were officially given 72 hours warning of their executions on Saturday.

     

    Chinthu Sukumaran said his brother’s last wish was to paint for as long as possible. Chan’s was to go to church with his family in his final days.

    The Indonesian government has not officially announced the execution date but the men are bracing for Tuesday night  – the earliest it could be held.

     

    The government had previously said it was waiting on the outcome of Indonesian marijuana trafficker Zainal Abidin’s court case before setting a date.

    However on Sunday Attorney General spokesman Tony Spontana told Fairfax Media the Supreme Court had rejected Abidin’s request for a judicial review late on Friday.

    The Chan and Sukumaran families were once again forced to make the grim ferry trip to Nusakambangan to visit their loved ones..

    Lawyer Julian McMahon carries a self-portrait painted by Australian death row prisoner Myuran Sukumaran.

    Lawyer Julian McMahon carries a self-portrait painted by Australian death row prisoner Myuran Sukumaran. Photo: Reuters

    Chan’s fiancée, Feby Herewila, brother Michael, mother Helen and long-term friend and supporter Senior Pastor Christie Buckingham all boarded the ferry.

    Michael Chan said the two Australians  are still holding up "pretty well considering they feel that it is unjust given what has has happened over the last 10 years with their case".

    Michael Chan and Myruran Sukumaran’s brother, Chinthu, pleaded with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to intervene and spare their brothers’ lives. 
    "it still doesn’t have to be this way," a tearful Chinthu Sukumaran said.

    "I would ask the president to please, please show mercy. There are nine people with families who love them – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. We ask the president to please intervene and save their lives."

    Somewhere in the legal system in Indonesia, Michael Chan said, there has got to be mercy. "The president needs to show that now. He’s the only one that can stop it and it’s not too late to do so. so I ask the president please show mercy."

    Sukumaran’s mother Raji, brother Chinthu and sister Brintha also visited Besi prison.

    They will be allowed to visit every day until the final hours when only a spiritual counsellor of their choice can be present.

    The lawyer of another condemned man, Martin Anderson, described scenes of desolation and crying as the nine prisoners on death row began to say their goodbyes.

    Anderson, Filipina maid Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, and Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte all refused to sign their notification of exemptions, although this will have no effect on the execution.

    Anderson’s lawyer, Casmanto Sudra, said his client kept repeating in disbelief: "Fifty grams. Death".

    He was convicted of possessing just 50 grams of heroin in Jakarta in November 2003.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made a last-ditch bid for mercy for the Bali nine pair.

    Mr Abbott made the appeal to the Indonesian president while in Turkey on Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.

    He asked the president to extend clemency to Chan and Sukumaran, describing them as reformed individuals and asking for them to not be executed.

    Mr Abbott said the government had been making representations "at every possible level to the Indonesian government for many months now".

    "We abhor the death penalty, we oppose it at home we oppose it abroad and I want to reassure Australians that even at this late hour we are continuing to make the strongest possible representations to the Indonesian government that this is not in the best interests of Indonesia let alone in the best interests of the young Australians concerned," he said.

    "I know that this is obviously a late hour and so far our representations haven’t been crowned with success – so again I simply make the point that it is not in the best interests of Indonesia, it is not in accordance with the best values of Indonesia.

    "This doesn’t accord with the Indonesia that I know well and respect very greatly to go ahead with something like this."

    He said the topic was likely to come up in discussions on Monday with the French government, and he expected all like-minded countries would stand together in wanting to uphold "the best values of civilisation", which did not accord with the death penalty.

    The Prime Minister has had limited success in his attempts to speak to Mr Widodo about the pair; after an initial phone call, Mr Widodo said he was too busy to take the second and third calls.

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who is also in Turkey, said the news that Chan and Sukumaran could be executed as soon as Tuesday was a "deeply worrying development".

    "No one thinks they deserve to escape punishment, but they don’t deserve this," he said.

    "Labor opposes the death penalty in every circumstance, in every country. I believe it demeans us all."

    Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi about the pair during a brief stop in the Middle East while flying back to Australia.

    Ms Bishop stressed the need for all legal processes to be determined before any action is taken.

    Evangelist preacher Matius Arif Mirdjaja, a former drug addict and prisoner in Bali’s Kerobokan jail who was baptised by Chan, said Indonesia would be remembered as a nation that killed a pastor and an artist, not drug kingpins.

    "History will write that we are a nation that killed all the repented, a nation that loses empathy and compassion for people who have transformed their lives and helped others," he said.

    On Monday Amnesty International will spell out the words #KeepHopeAlive with thousands of flowers at Blues Point Reserve, overlooking Sydney Harbour.

    A public protest will be held outside the Indonesian Consulate General in Sydney at 4pm on Monday.

    Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor said retribution in the wake of the Bali nine executions would not be in the best interests of Australia or the region.

    "With (the Australians’) deaths will come calls for retribution, including withdrawal of aid funding, trade and tourist sanctions and perhaps even the withdrawal of Australia’s new ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson," Mr Taylor said.

    "To impose retribution of this kind would be counter-productive to Australia’s interests in the region, and such action will invite an increase in the already high level of nationalistic sentiment, and a ‘tit-for-tat’ response from the new Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo government."

    Meanwhile, lawyers for Gularte, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, will lodge a request for a judicial review into his case on Monday.

    They say Gularte was mentally ill when he tried to smuggle six kilograms of cocaine into Indonesia hidden inside surfboards and should be hospitalised not executed.

    Gularte’s lawyer, Christina Widiantarti, said he became angry and upset when he was notified of his execution on Saturday.

    "He said, I’ve been here for seven years, I did one mistake, everybody uses illegal narcotic, why do I have to be executed?" Ms Widiantarti said. "Everybody there knows Rodrigo is mentally ill. He refused to sign the notification of his death. "Because he was angry, he didn’t say what his last request was, he didn’t say what to do after the execution."

    On Friday lawyers for Veloso lodged a request for a second judicial review on the grounds she was "primarily a human trafficking victim in the first place, and therefore, must be protected".

    However Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told Fairfax Media that under Indonesian law only one judicial review was allowed.

    Veloso maintains she was tricked by her godsister into carrying a suitcase lined with heroin into Yogyakarta, where she was seeking employment as a domestic helper.

    Veloso’s plight has captured the sympathy of Indonesians still reeling from the beheadings of two Indonesian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

    The hashtag #SaveMaryJane has been trending on Twitter with several local celebrities supporting her case for mercy.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Schapelle Corby: Time to let go of our obsession

    Michael Bachelard

    Michael Bachelard
    Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media

    Schapelle Corby waits in her cell before her trial in 2005.

    CORBY: THE FACTS

     

    Another nuance of activity occurred in Bali on Tuesday, as the parole process for Schapelle Corby inched forward once again. Representatives of an agency of the Indonesian Justice Department visited the house where she would be required to live if she were let out of jail early.

    Even though she has not yet applied for parole, as with all things Corby, the "news" drove some of the frothier parts of the Australian media into habitual overdrive.

    Schapelle Corby  is escorted by police to a courtroom in Denpasar in 2006.

    Schapelle Corby is escorted by police to a courtroom in Denpasar in 2006. Photo: AFP

    Some outlets have even put a date on her release – October 30.

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    Well, that may or may not be so. Like the last time a date was so confidently predicted (in May last year, August 2012 was said to be when she would return to Australia), it’s far enough away to be possible, yet not so close that anyone is held accountable if the date is missed.

    So, assuming her release is coming up after almost nine years in jail, let’s take the opportunity to assess our attitude to Schapelle Corby.

    Schapelle Corby and fellow convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence in Kerobokan Jail in 2010.

    Schapelle Corby and fellow convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence in Kerobokan Jail in 2010. Photo: Jason Childs

    Many people have spent a great deal of time and energy poring over this one woman’s case – the Australian consulate in Bali; authors; lawyers; dozens, if not hundreds of journalists; prison officials, professional internet conspiracy theorists, politicians in both Australia and Indonesia.

    It’s not only the Australian media who go into a frenzy at the mention of her name. She has become a touchstone in the Indonesian press, too. There, though, it’s not about an innocent entrapped in a third-world system, it’s about the ugly habit of Westerners to aggressively demand special treatment.

    The head of Bali’s Kerobokan jail, Gusti Ngurah Wiratna, remarked to the press in frustration recently: "I’ve got 1000 prisoners, why are you only interested in Schapelle?"

    Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of dollars, have changed hands – for paid interviews with the family, internet ads, defamation actions and other civil court actions, royalties and lawyers fees.

    Her 2004 arrest and imprisonment has turned into a Schapelle industry.

    Sadly, for several years, the subject of that industry has suffered from severe mental health issues, and has largely removed herself from its centre. Even the Corby family-friendly journalists can only quote  "those who know and live with her" in their stories because Corby herself refuses any direct interaction with the press.

    She does not even go to the visitor’s area of Kerobokan in case there might be journalists there. Her absence, for the same reason, from compulsory prison events, has potentially even harmed her cause.

    For a long time  Fairfax Media readers have held the dual belief that Corby is guilty, but that she deserves a shortened sentence.

    Views of her innocence in the broader public are likely to be higher, but substantially lower than at the height of the "Our Schapelle" frenzy of 2004 and 2005.

    It’s her perceived innocence that initially drove the Corby story to the point of obsession, but even though this has changed, nine years later, we in the media remain closely focused on every detail of her incarceration and possible release.

    Perhaps we assume people will be moved by the same impulses, or the echoes of the impulses, that moved them a decade ago.

    But let’s consider what all this will mean when she is ultimately released, whether on parole or at the end of her sentence.

    After 10 years in a bubble, Corby will be exposed to the world.

    She’ll be walking the narrow streets of Kuta, living in a Balinese compound whose address is well known, with the world’s media – including a chaotic Indonesian press pack – on her doorstep.

    The inevitable paid interviews will create an appetite among the unsuccessful bidders for exclusives of a different kind – for evidence of her poor mental state, for pictures of her drinking her first beer, wearing a bikini at the beach, hanging out with a man, throwing a tantrum.

    In the open, she’ll lack the protection afforded by the Australian consulate from the tourists and stickybeaks who even now occasionally try to get into the jail to visit her.

    The local police are unwilling and unequipped to provide any protection.

    Whatever you think of her guilt or innocence, Corby has served a long sentence, and her adjustment to life on the outside – difficult as it will be already – can only be made immeasurably harder by such attention.

    Perhaps it’s time to let go of our decade-long obsession and finally just leave Schapelle Corby alone.

    CORBY: THE FACTS
    • Corby has been eligible for parole for more than a year, since the Indonesian president granted her clemency with a five-year sentence reduction;
    • She has not yet applied for parole, and the Indonesians have not started the process, because the Indonesian immigration department has not yet confirmed that she can get a visa to be able to serve out her sentence in Bali with her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan;
    • All the other conditions for parole – including an unprecedented letter from the Australian government guaranteeing her good behaviour – are in place;
    • With continued remission for good behaviour, she is likely to be out in 2015 even if she does not win parole.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/schapelle-corby-time-to-let-go-of-our-obsession-20130814-2rvuc.html#ixzz2cKeyqYu5

    Schapelle Corby
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Schapelle Corby

    bag were meant to be collected in Sydney by him.

    They suppressed this corroborative evidence, and never told anyone.

    SchapelleCorby

    “Schapelle Corby was unjustly jailed in Indonesia. Why was she denied access to all evidence that could potentially clear her. Why did the Bali police say fingerprinting was not necessary? Why was the baggage not weighed as requested by Corby. Why was DNA testing refused to determine country of origin? What happened to all the security tapes at three International airports on the same day? Australia needs answers to these questions.”

    A few weeks ago, The Expendable Project received information which showed that the AFP had information which corroborated the story of a man who had been ridiculed by the media in 2005, when he confessed that the drugs in Schapelle’s bag were meant to be collected in Sydney by him. They suppressed this corroborative evidence, and never told anyone.

    Expendable has today produced a report on this: see the story is below.

    Somehow, though, this is business as usual in Australia. The Expendable Project has proved… not alleged… PROVED…  corruption and criminality by the Australian government and the AFP. There is no scope for any doubt, as the government emails and cables amount to a smoking gun confession, again and again and again.

    But proof of a national scandal of the highest magnitude is not enough. Proof that an innocent has been sacrificed for commercial interests, and to hide AFP corruption, is not enough. The people of Australia are largely ignorant of it. They world is oblivious. Why?

    Because the media, which in Australia is owned by a tiny handful of rich and powerful vested interests, refuse to report it. They are hiding it from the people. Those damning cables and emails don’t exist as far as they are concerned. And yes, they all know about them.

    There is one, and only one, way around this…. US. We have to take this to everyone. We have to take it to the world, person by person, day after day. In the coming weeks People For Schapelle will be rolling out a campaign, leading to a ‘Schapelle Week’ and a ‘Schapelle Day’.

    More information will be posted soon. But in the meantime, please continue to post www.expendable.tv to wherever you can. Send it to your friends, colleagues, media, politicians, anyone…. Facebook, Twitter, emails, forums. Print the posters, write the CDs, talk, anything. 

    Schapelle’s life depends on us all…. let’s fight for her.

    Thanks for caring.

    Kathryn

    PS: Today’s story on the police corruption is below:

    From: Bart Vaart [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: 03 April 2012 10:41
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: URGENT: Here Is Tomorrows News

    On Wednesday 4th April, ex-Detective Sergeant Christopher Laycock will appear for sentencing in a Sydney court, for a string of offences. These stem from the Cobalt Report, which was presented by the Police Integrity Commission to Parliament in 2005, and which presents him as one of the most notorious criminals in Australian history.
    But, what meets the eye will be something of a mirage. His last hearing, on 29th March 2012, was closed to the public, on account of a mysterious 30 page ‘naming and shaming’ document, which his lawyer had dramatically presented at the hearing previous to this. The AAP has subsequently reported what the court instructed them to report.
    The real story here is not only what is in that document, and why it has taken 8 years for Laycock to meet his fate, but what the New South Wales Crime Commission, and the AFP, have hidden from the public for 7 years.
    THE LAYCOCK GANG
    The Laycock gang, including John Robert Dunks, and David John Hopes, engaged almost every crime in the book. One was drug syndication. Indeed, a man called William Miller had named Dunks, on oath, to a court, as the man who had given him the job to pick up a quantity of marijuana from Sydney airport, on 8th October 2004.
    You will recognize the date, and perhaps the name. Miller had been ridiculed by the media in July 2005, as a money chaser, when he broadly presented this story in the wake of Schapelle Corby’s dysfunctional Bali trial. 
    The NSWCC and AFP? The Expendable Project have just published an extract from the minutes of a confidential NSWCC internal meeting, attended by Mark Standen, amongst others (header attached).
    This confirms that Dunks was a ‘Person Of Interest’ in 2004, and that the NSWCC had secretly recorded a conversation between him, and Miller. The conversation corroborated Miller’s account of the airport pickup job.
    The NSWCC recognized the significance of this recording, and consulted a named officer within the AFP with this information.
    But both parties sat on it. Schapelle Corby was never told. No-one was ever told.
    No-one would ever have been told, had The Expendable Project not obtained those minutes.
    The latest Expendable report should be read very carefully. It can be viewed on the following web page:
    http://www.expendable.tv/2012/04/candidate-sources-report.html
    The Laycock/Miller affair is documented in Section 2. On Page 2-34 of the PDF you will find the extracts from the NSWCC meeting.
    The Expendable Project have stated that further information will be published in due course.
    B der Vaart