JAKARTA: The brother of an Australian facing imminent execution in Indonesia has appealed on national television for President Joko Widodo to spare the drug smuggler’s life.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” drug trafficking gang, were convicted of trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005 and sentenced to death the following year.
The men, in their early 30s, recently lost their appeals for presidential clemency, typically a death row convict’s last chance to avoid the firing squad, and are expected to be put to death soon.
The families of the pair have been calling for Widodo to show mercy, arguing the men are reformed characters after years in prison, and late Sunday, Chan’s brother, Michael, made a fresh appeal.
“Andrew is a changed man from 10 years ago,” he added, urging Widodo to give him a “second chance”.
He added the Chan and Sukumaran “have embraced Indonesian culture, the way of life and they are very sorry for the things they have done”.
On Monday, the head of the Bali prosecutor’s office, Momock Bambang Samiarso, said that the pair would be moved this week from their jail on the resort island to a prison off Java, where the executions will take place. He said officials were still discussing the details.
Canberra has been piling pressure on Jakarta to change course on the executions, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week offered a glimmer of hoping after talking to Widodo, saying that the leader was “carefully considering his position”. However, Widodo shot down that suggestion, insisting that Indonesia’s stance on the pending executions was “clear”.
The Australians are among a group of foreigners, including a Frenchman and a Brazilian, who have lost their appeals for clemency and are facing imminent execution.
Brazil and France have also been ramping up pressure on Jakarta, with Paris summoning Indonesia’s envoy and the Brazilian president refusing to accept the credentials of the new Indonesian ambassador.