Indonesian court rejects last-ditch appeal by Australian death-row convict

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 05, 2015 11:33 PM

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian court on Monday rejected a last-ditch legal challenge by Australian drug convict Andrew Chan, who is facing execution by firing squad.

Chan had challenged the court's decision not to hear an appeal against President Joko Widodo's refusal of clemency.

He and fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran were convicted in 2006 as the ringleaders of a plot to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.

The administrative court will rule on an identical appeal by Sukumaran later on Monday.

The rejection of Chan's challenge means that he has exhausted all avenues of legal recourse, according to a spokesman for the Attorney General.

The Australian pair are among 10 drug convicts due to be executed by firing squad at the prison island of Nusakambangan. Others in the group include citizens of France, Brazil, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Widodo denied clemency to the convicts despite repeated pleas from Australia, Brazil and France.

Sukumaran and Chan had sought in February to challenge the president's blanket rejection, with their lawyers arguing that he did not give due consideration to each case. But the administrative court originally dismissed their case on the grounds it did not have the legal authority to assess it.

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The attorney general is awaiting the outcome of legal appeals by three remaining death row inmates before setting a date for executions. His office's spokesman has previously said the intention is for all executions to be carried out together but they could be conducted in batches.

Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata and Fergus Jensen; Editing by John Chalmers)