Indonesia has delayed the executions of three Islamic militants convicted for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people after the men said they wanted to file a final appeal, officials said yesterday.
Amrozi Nurhasyim, Ali Gufron and Imam Samudra were among more than 30 people convicted in the twin nightclub bombings on the resort island, which officials say were carried out by the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror group.
They confessed to the crime but last month authorized lawyers to file a final appeal, known as a judicial review, averting today's planned execution by firing squad, said I Wayan Pasek Suarta, spokesman for the attorney general.
"We have to respect the rights of the convicts because they have informed us that they want to file a final appeal ... so the execution cannot be carried out," he said.
No new date was immediately announced.
The suicide bombings, which killed mostly foreign tourists, were followed by annual terrorist attacks in the world's most populous Muslim nation blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah that together killed another 40 people. After a second round of bombings on Bali last year, the government agreed to speed up the executions of Nurhasyim, Gufron and Samudra amid concerns they still wielded influence over other militants.
But lawyers for the three argued that the anti-terror law used to convict them was applied retroactively.
While the militants have signed a request for a judicial review, they have not yet presented it to the Supreme Court, lawyer Muhammad Mahendradatta said. They were waiting to hear if a change of venue request for their review trial had been granted, he said, claiming Bali's district court in Denpasar was biased against them.
In the past, the three defendants have said they wanted to die and become martyrs for their cause. None has expressed regret for the attacks. Samudra, who is said to have coordinated the blasts, has defended them in a book as a legitimate part of a holy war against the West.
Analysts say the timing of the executions may be linked to those of three Christian militants on death row for their roles in sectarian violence on Sulawesi island six years ago that left 200 Muslims dead.
They say it would be politically difficult for the government to execute the Bali bombers before placing the Christians -- who represent a minority in Indonesia -- before a firing squad.
The Christian men won a last-minute stay of execution earlier this month and while Indonesian officials insist the executions will eventually go forward, no new date has been set.
The government has denied a link between the timing of the separate executions.
The father of an Australian man killed in the Bali bombings welcomed the delay. Brian Deegan, whose 21-year-old son Josh died in the attack, wrote to Amnesty International last week requesting that Indonesia spare the men's lives.
"From a legal point of view, I am happy about the decision because everyone has the same rights as everyone else regardless of the crime so their right to appeal should be respected," Deegan said. "The only downside is that this for me delays the grieving process. I just wish it could be all put to rest so that I could put it behind me."
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted