Two further appeals before executions

Two further appeals before executions

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) is waiting for the results of case reviews for two death-row inmates at the Supreme Court before setting a schedule for the next batch of executions.

Attorney General M. Prasetyo said that his office was cooperating with the ongoing legal efforts of Serge Areski Atlaoui of France and Martin Anderson alias Belo of Ghana against their death sentences.

On Monday, the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) rejected petitions from two Australian death-row inmates, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, to annul a presidential decree refusing clemency for the pair.

The PTUN insisted that a presidential decree was not subject to the court's authority. Prasetyo, meanwhile, described the move as an "inappropriate" legal wrangle with the sole aim of delaying the executions.

"For the Australian convicts, it's all settled. I've heard that they want to challenge Monday's verdict, but I don't imagine that will be a problem. We're staying firm about this," Prasetyo told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Moreover, he said that while he respected all of the convicts' legal efforts, their futility was certain in light of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's rejection of clemency requests. "The two other convicts from Ghana and France are just trying to buy time," Prasetyo said.

Atlaoui is currently challenging his sentence at the Tangerang State Court, while Anderson has registered a review petition with the South Jakarta District Court.

The four drug convicts are among a group of 10 people slated for simultaneous execution on Nusakambangan prison island near Cilacap, Central Java, where the AGO conducted the first batch of executions of six local and foreign drug convicts in January.

Prasetyo explained that for those sentenced to death, clemency was the ultimate legal recourse, but that convicts' lawyers typically attempted all measures to delay their client's execution.

"When they request clemency, it means that they admit all wrongdoing, so why do they still try to make legal challenges once the clemency appeal has failed? Even before that stage, they have plenty of time to challenge their verdicts up to case review level," Prasetyo added.

It was possible, he said, that the AGO would include additional death-row inmates in the group of 10, with a decision to be made at an upcoming meeting of all prosecutors and directors involved in the executions.

Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi said on Monday that the court was still waiting for Anderson and Atlaoui's case review dossiers from the Tangerang and South Jakarta courts before a panel of judges at the Supreme Court could proceed with the petitions.

"The officers in charge of their petition documents say that they have yet to receive anything from the two courts," Suhadi said.

Sukumaran and Chan's lawyer Leonard Aritonang said that he disagreed with the PTUN's Monday ruling, and that he would challenge the verdict by filing a judicial review to amend Law No. 5/2010 on clemency with the Constitutional Court.

"This is not the end of the fight. In the near future we will file the request with the Constitutional Court. We want the court to clarify the role of the president in issuing clemency,' Leonard said.

Last week, the Supreme Court rejected a second case review petition filed by Philippine national Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, another member of the condemned group.

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