Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Indonesia tells drug convicts executions are now ‘imminent’

AFP, CILACAP, Indonesia

Indonesia yesterday said it has officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they are to be executed, but a Frenchman was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta.

The eight have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan, where they will face the firing squad along with an Indonesian prisoner, despite strident international criticism.

“Today, just now, we just finished notifying every convict, nine people except for Serge,” Indonesian Attorney General’s office spokesman Tony Spontana told reporters.

Officials said earlier that Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who was expected to be among the group being put to death, would not be included in the forthcoming batch as he still has an outstanding legal appeal.

Spontana did not give a date for the executions, but a lawyer for Filipina Mary Jane Veloso said she had been informed she would be put to death on Tuesday.

The news that the execution procedure is under way, after weeks of delays, came after Indonesian officials yesterday met diplomats in a town near Nusakambangan. The consular officials then traveled to the island to visit inmates.

The foreign drug convicts have all lost appeals for clemency from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who argues that Indonesia is fighting a drug emergency.

The Australian government said it had been informed that the execution of its citizens, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, was “imminent.”

The news of Atlaoui’s temporary reprieve came after France dramatically stepped up pressure on Jakarta to change course, and French President Francois Hollande yesterday warned of “consequences with France and Europe” if Atlaoui was put to death.

Widodo has previously ignored the increasingly clamorous appeals on the convicts’ behalf from their governments, social media and from others.

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