Security heightened at Nusa Kambangan prison ahead of executions

CILICAP, Indonesia - Security has been beefed up on Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, following the plan to execute death row inmates convicted of drug trafficking, including two Bali Nine members, namely Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, at the facility, an official has said.

Cilacap Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ulung Sampurna Jaya said the police had increased security patrols in Nusakambangan waters ahead the transfer of the two Australian death row inmates to Batu Penitentiary on Nusakambangan, from Kerobokan Penitentiary, Bali.

He said 27 police officers had been dispatched to patrol Wijaya Pura Pier, Teluk Penyu Beach and Nusakambangan waters.

"We are conducting security patrols more intensively, especially in Nusakambangan waters.

"We are securing all Nusakambangan entrance points so there will be no unauthorized people entering the island," Ulung told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He said the police had yet to provide security in Batu Penitentiary, which is rumored to be where Chan and Sukumaran will be held in isolation prior to their executions.

Attorney General Prasetyo said in a recent statement in Jakarta that the executions would be conducted at Nusakambangan.

The Attorney General's Office has issued a letter instructing the transfer of Chan and Sukumaran, who were convicted for smuggling 8.3 kilograms of heroin, to their isolation cells at Batu Penitentiary.

The head of correctional institution division at the Law and Human Rights Ministry's Central Java office, Yuspahruddin, said his office was coordinating with a number of authorities in Cilacap on the transfer of the two Australians to one of seven prisons on Nusakambangan Island.

"For the time being, it is confirmed that they will be transferred to the [Batu] prison.

"Technically, however, it is still possible for the plan to change, concerning the given situation and condition," he said.

The head of Bali Prosecutor's Office, Momock Bambang Samiarsa, announced that the office received a letter instructing the transfer of Chan and Sukumaran to Batu Penitentiary last Wednesday.

"We will immediately transfer the two Australian death row inmates to Nusakambangan. We initially planned to carry out the executions here.

"Following input from religious and community leaders and local administration officials, we decided that their executions would not be carried out in Bali," said Momock.

In January, five death row inmates were executed at Nusakambangan. Batu is the nearest facility to Sodong, a pier on Nusakambangan Island.

As many as 120 inmates, including Jhon Key, a notorious thug sentenced to 16 years in prison, are serving time at Batu Penitentiary.

Tommy Soeharto, son of former president Soeharto, and tycoon Bob Hasan served their sentences in the prison.