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Australia Seeks Probe of Trial of 2 Drug Traffickers in Indonesia

  • VOA News

Todung Mulya Lubis, lawyer for two Australians facing death penalty, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, speaks to reporters at Wijayapura port in Cilacap, Central Java island, Indonesia, April 27, 2015.

Todung Mulya Lubis, lawyer for two Australians facing death penalty, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, speaks to reporters at Wijayapura port in Cilacap, Central Java island, Indonesia, April 27, 2015.

In a last-ditch effort to save two drug traffickers from the firing squad in Indonesia, Australia's Foreign Ministry urged Jakarta Monday to delay the executions until allegations of corruption in their trial could be investigated.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop claimed the trial judges had asked for tens of thousands of dollars to sentence the two to less than 20 years in prison.

"These allegations are very serious. They call into question the integrity of the sentencing process and it's a matter for Indonesia's judicial commission to investigate these matters and that underlines why we continue to request Indonesia to allow the judicial commission to finalize its review. This must be allowed to continue before any action is taken to prepare for executions. An execution is an irrevocable step and I believe that these hearings and these appeal processes should be concluded before any decision is taken," said Bishop.

Indonesian authorities say the Australians have exhausted all avenues of appeal.

An Indonesian lawyer for the two - Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan - says he wants an investigation into what he says was an unfair legal proceeding in their case.

"I know that we have done everything possible under our legal system, we have done almost, we have done everything, we have done everything. We have exhausted every legal avenues. But Sukumaran and Andrew Chan still feel there is something wrong with all this legal proceeding especially at the district court at Bali,” said the lawyer.

Indonesia tightened security around Wijaya Pura port, the gateway to Nusakambangan Island prison, on Monday.

As many as 1,203 policemen and soldiers were deployed in the small town of Cilacap after a 72-hour advanced notice of execution was issued to seven drug convicts on death row.

A group of highly trained dogs, known as the K9 unit of Safe Guard Indonesia (SGI), were also brought to the port on a bus.

The port's entrance was cleared by police of all cars and motorcycles parked nearby.

The executions, which will be the second round under President Joko Widodo, have drawn international criticism and sparked diplomatic tensions with Australia, France and Brazil, which have nationals on death row.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo has pledged no clemency for drug offenders, citing a “drug emergency” in the world's fourth-largest country, but has said he was open to abolishing the death penalty in the future.

The statement came after the Philippines President Benigno Aquino met Widodo at the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur and appealed for “humanitarian consideration” in the case.

Dozens of Philippine protesters gathered Monday outside the heavily guarded Indonesian embassy in Manila demanding that Widodo stop the execution of Veloso.

"We are appealing to the Indonesian President Widodo, we hope you listen to the appeal of the family, listen to the appeal of the workers, that it is clear that Mary Jane Veloso is a victim of the drug [syndicate] she is not a drug trafficker," said Jerome Adonis, a protest leader.

Ten traffickers, who were given a 72-hour notification of their executions on Saturday, could be put to death is early as Tuesday night.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.

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