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Indonesia Officials Elusive on Execution Date

  • Reuters

Australian Andrew Chan, right, and, and Myuran Sukumaran, left, stand inside a holding cell after their trial at a court in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006. The two Australians were sentenced to death by firing squad for leading a drug s

Australian Andrew Chan, right, and, and Myuran Sukumaran, left, stand inside a holding cell after their trial at a court in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006. The two Australians were sentenced to death by firing squad for leading a drug s

Indonesia's Attorney General told media on Friday that the planned execution of convicts including two Australians will still go ahead but no timing has yet been decided.

Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, are among eight to be executed for drug offences in Indonesia after President Joko Widodo rejected their clemency pleas.

The executions would be the latest of a string of death sentences for drug offenders, including foreigners.

Attorney General Prasetyo, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, says preparations are still being finalized despite Australia's pleas for clemency.

“We still have not decided yet on the timing but we are preparing and finalizing all preparations. We must coordinate with all parties which will be involved in the executions process,” Prasetyo told reporters at his compound at Jakarta.

Others on death row include citizens of Brazil, France, Ghana, Nigeria, Philippines and Indonesia.

Their clemency were rejected by Indonesia's president and Prasetyo says the constitution rules that only the head of state can prevent the executions.

“We must all know that giving clemency is the right of the head of state - this is in the constitution. No one can cancel or stop the decision. The head of state has full authority to accept or reject clemency. If a request is to be submitted to the administrative court, please go ahead, but it will not be effective, in my opinion because [the court] is not the correct channel [to address the issue],” Prasetyo said.

The execution of the two Australians would strain ties between the neighbors further.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Abbott drew strong criticism from Jakarta on Wednesday for linking his pleas for clemency for the pair to Australia's aid to Indonesia after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

“I say that tsunami aid is related to humanity and execution is also about humanity to save so many people who become victims of drug,” Prasetyo added.

Last month, Indonesia executed six prisoners by firing squad for drug offences, including nationals of Brazil, Malawi, Netherland, Nigeria and Vietnam.

Brazil and the Netherland recalled their ambassadors in Indonesia, while Nigeria summoned Indonesia's ambassador in Abuja.

Indonesia has a record of harsh penalties for drug trafficking, resuming executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.

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