2 of the Bali 9 could still face the firing squad, SBY reportedly didn’t grant clemency

May 23, 2016
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Two members of the Bali Nine are more unsure of their fate now that former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) just left office without sparing them from the death penalty. 

The AAP just reported that the two Australian prisoners of Kerobokan prison, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran had pleas for clemency before SBY, for the last two years, but apparently SBY left office without addressing them. Previous hopes of SBY hearing their appeal as a final act before leaving the presidency were reportedly grounded in SBY’s demonstrated desire to keep relations healthy with Australia throughout his tenure. 

That means it’s up to newly-inaugurated President “Jokowi” if these men get their sentences reduced from death by firing squad to life (which is typically a 20 year sentence here). 

Talk about inheriting problems from the previous administration. 

Chan and Sukumaran were part of a nine-person drug trafficking operation that was caught in April 2005, attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin out of Bali. Apparently both Chan and Sukumaran have made strong efforts for rehabilitation, Chan turning to the church and Sukumaran to the prison’s art program. 

“When the new government comes to consider the clemency case, we are very hopeful that the clients’ hard work and rehabilitation over many years will be recognized,” said the two inmates’ lawyer, Julian McMahon, as quoted by the AAP. 

However, the AAP speculates it’s not likely this will be a priority for Jokowi at the beginning of his new presidency. He allegedly has plenty of his own issues to deal with before tackling the SBY administration’s leftovers. We’ll see though how this may affect relations between Australia and Indonesia, especially if Jokowi heads over to Oz this month for the G20 summit (he reportedly still hasn’t RSVP’d yet).

For the inmates, not knowing their fate just simply sucks. “I just don’t want to be shot, really,” Sukumaran said to reporters in August.

Photo: AFP

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