Tamil Diplomat

Bali Nine Australians’ death row appeal fails

Two Australian drug smugglers sentenced to death cannot challenge the president’s decision to refuse them clemency, an Indonesian court has ruled.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were the leaders of the “Bali Nine” group of heroin smugglers arrested in 2005.

They are scheduled to be executed by firing squad in Indonesia soon.

Australia has campaigned hard for their sentences to be commuted and their supporters say they have reformed.

Both men were appealing against an earlier ruling which had barred them from challenging Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s rejection of their clemency pleas.

Their lawyers had argued that Mr Widodo – whose stated policy is to deny clemency to drug offenders – had not given adequate consideration to the men’s cases.

But the State Administrative Court in Jakarta upheld the earlier decision, saying it had no authority to take the case.

It is not clear where the legal proceedings go now. A spokesman for Indonesia’s attorney-general, quoted by Reuters news agency, said the men had exhausted all possible options.

But a lawyer for Chan and Sukumaran told journalists: “We will continue our legal efforts” (BBC News).