Executions to go on despite Australia's concern

Executions to go on despite Australia's concern
A ferry transports armored vehicles carrying two Australian prisoners, Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, to the Nusakambangan prison island, where their executions will take place.

Attorney General M. Prasetyo has confirmed that his office is pressing ahead with its execution plans, with preparations nearly complete and the executions set to be carried out in the next few days.

Prasetyo reported on the preparations to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during a plenary Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, claiming that the President had given full responsibility to the Attorney General's Office (AGO).

However, Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto added that Jokowi had told Prasetyo to "take the concern of the Australian government very seriously".

He elaborated, "We realised it created a kind of tension between Indonesia and Australia. We had the same tension before with the Dutch government.

We take the concerns of our friendly neighbour seriously so the President asked the attorney general to coordinate with the foreign minister in processing these executions."

Citing a previous spat with the Netherlands after a Dutch citizen was executed in the first batch of executions, Andi said diplomacy would be the key to improving ties between Indonesia and any country affected by what he called "temporary tensions" arising from the executions.

According to Andi, Indonesia and the Netherlands have now reestablished interaction and communication, and have opened a discussion on cooperation in maritime affairs.

Earlier in the day in Cilacap, Central Java, Australian death-row convicts Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran arrived at Wijaya Pura - the official port leading to Nusakambangan prison island - from Kerobokan prison in Bali at around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

They arrived at the port's pier under very tight security from hundreds of police and Indonesian National Army (TNI) personnel.

The pair, ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine group, were transported in two police armored vehicles. One of the cars also carried death-row convict Raheem Agbaje Salami, a Nigerian who held a Spanish passport when he was arrested, and who was transferred from Madiun, East Java.

The Bali Nine duo were brought to Nusakambangan after landing at Tunggul Wulung Airport in Cilacap, located around 10 km north of Nusakambangan.

Chan and Myuran were transported from Bali on a chartered Wings Air plane, escorted by two Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi and two F-16 fighter jets, which arrived at the airport at around 8:15 a.m.

There have been heightened land and sea patrols by military personnel in areas around Wijaya Pura over the past few days to secure the island ahead of the executions.

A fully-equipped warship belonging to the Indonesian Navy was seen circling the island last week, while a number of military trucks were coming and going from the Wijaya Pura quay compound last Wednesday.

Such scenes have raised speculations that the government might have concerns about possible security disturbances, particularly from Australia.

However, Navy warship commander Lt. Arief Wibowo said that such security was standard for executions.

Jakarta's top defence-related officials also denied on Wednesday that the heightened patrols were due to security fears. National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Marciano Norman said there was no deviation from standard procedure.

Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Moeldoko, who previously said he had prepared military personnel in areas on and around the island, denied security had been beefed up, but stated that "in principle, [the executions] cannot fail".

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno added that international law stated that no country was allowed to enter another's territory, adding that he predicted "there would be no problems" during the execution process.

Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, meanwhile, said he had told 40 Indonesian defence attaches abroad that each of them "must convey a clear message to those countries that drugs [being trafficked into Indonesia] harm Indonesian people".

Ryamizard later confirmed that the military had deployed personnel to assist the police in ensuring the executions ran smoothly.

The AGO has said that all the convicts are set to be transferred to Nusakambangan before the end of the week.

Chan, Sukumaran and Salami are among at least 10 death row inmates to be executed after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo refused to grant them clemency.

The other convicts facing execution are drug convicts Serge Areski Atlaoui of France, Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil, Zainal Abidin of Indonesia and Martin Anderson alias Belo of Ghana, as well as three Indonesian murderers: Syofial alias Iyen bin Azwar, Harun bin Ajis and Sargawi alias Ali bin Sanusi.

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