Indonesia rejects Australia death row appeal

An Indonesian court on Monday rejected appeals by two Australian drug traffickers who challenged President Joko Widodo\’s decision to refuse them clemency and spare their lives.
The complaints by Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were tried separately with the same three-judge panel at the Jakarta High Administrative Court, which agreed with a lower court that the case is out of their jurisdiction since clemency is the prerogative of the president.
"The object of the dispute is not part of the jurisdiction of the Administrative court," said presiding judge Ujang Abdullah.
Sukumaran, 33, and Chan, 31, are among 10 drug smugglers whose planned executions last month were adjourned due to last-minute appeals from six inmates. The others are three Nigerians and four men from Brazil, France, Ghana and Indonesia, and a Filipino woman.
Two of the foreigners — Serge Areski Atlaoui from France and Martin Anderson of Ghana, are still waiting for the outcome of their request for judicial reviews by the Supreme Court.
Last month, the country\’s highest court rejected judicial reviews by Filipino Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso.
The planned executions have soured relations between Indonesia and other countries, especially Australia and Brazil, but Widodo has vowed not to grant mercy to drug offenders because he says Indonesia is suffering a "drug emergency."
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement that the government was disappointed the petitions by Sukumaran and Chan failed and that Australia "respectfully requests the President to review their pleas for clemency."
Leonard Arpan Aritonang, a lawyer for the two Australians, expressed disappointment but added that the ruling did not stop them from seeking another legal option.
"\’\’We will file constitutional review in the next two weeks to ask the Constitutional Court to redefine and to emphasize what is the president\’s obligation in relation with the clemency," Aritonang said.
The Australians\’ legal team has complained that the presidential decrees rejecting the clemency did not provide reasons why they were rejected.
Jakarta executed six drug convicts including five foreigners in January, brushing aside last-minute appeals from Brazil and the Netherlands. More than 130 people are on Indonesia\’s death row, including 57 drug convicts.
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