Indonesia set to execute drug smugglers

Nine drug traffickers await execution by firing squad after Indonesian authorities notified them that they have no hope of reprieve

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Indonesia appears likely to press ahead with the executions of nine drug traffickers, despite last-ditch appeals by Australia's foreign minister for a stay of execution so that claims of corruption during the trials of the two Australian prisoners can be investigated.

The nine drug traffickers are being held in isolation cells at an Indonesian maximum security prison awaiting execution by firing squad. Indonesian authorities have said that they have no hope of a reprieve.

Security at the prison was heightened and religious counsellors, doctors and a firing squad were alerted to start final preparations for the execution of the four Nigerians, two Australians, an Indonesian, a Brazilian and a Filipina.

The families of the Australian convicts paid an anguished final visit to their loved ones on Tuesday, wailing in grief as ambulances carrying empty white coffins arrived at their prison.

"We're hoping for a miracle," Marites Veloso, the sister of death-row inmate Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines told reporters as she entered the prison for a final visit.

Rebuffing last-minute appeals from Australia and the Philippines to spare their nationals, Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo told Reuters that the nine had been given notice and had been placed in isolation cells.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she had received a letter from Indonesia that offered no indication that there would be a reprieve for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Earlier on Monday she had asked for a stay in their executions, saying allegations in the Australian media that judges had requested money to commute their death sentences were "very serious."

The members of the Bali Nine were arrested at the main airport on the holiday island of Bali in April 2005 for trying to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin to Australia. The Indonesian authorities had been tipped off by Australia's Federal Police.

The seven other members of the Bali Nine, all Australians, have been jailed in Indonesia but do not face the death penalty.

The pending executions have strained Indonesia's relations with Australia, Nigeria and Brazil, which will likely worsen after the death sentences are carried out.

TRTWorld and agencies