Australians on Indonesia death row file fresh legal appeal

TWO Australians on death row in Indonesia applied for a new judicial review of their cases on Friday in a bid to halt their executions, with their lawyer calling for the men to be given a “second chance”.

However, the attorney general’s office in Jakarta said judges would likely reject the request for a fresh judicial review from the leaders of the “Bali Nine” drug-smuggling gang.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were arrested in Bali in 2005 and sentenced to death the following year for attempting to smuggle eight kilograms (18 pounds) of heroin out of the Indonesian holiday island.

In December, Sukumaran lost an appeal for presidential clemency, a death row convict’s last chance to avoid the firing squad.

Chan’s appeal was rejected earlier this month, removing the final hurdle for Jakarta to push ahead with executing the pair. Authorities have insisted they be put to death together as they committed their crime together.

However, their lawyers are battling to take the case back to court and on Friday the pair, in their early 30s, filed applications for a fresh judicial review.

Ketut Sulendra, an official from the district court in the Balinese capital Denpasar, went to Kerobokan jail on the island to assist the men in completing their applications. Judges will now consider their requests.

The pair have already lost one judicial review during their lengthy appeal process, and the attorney general’s office has insisted there are no more legal avenues open to them after the rejection of their clemency appeals.

But their lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, said that it was “a matter to be dealt with by the courts”, not the attorney general, and that executions should not go ahead while the legal process was ongoing.

He said that the legal team was seeking 20 years imprisonment rather than the death penalty.

“These two men, the prisoners, have changed a great deal… I think they deserve a second chance.”

Authorities have not fixed a date or location for their execution.

Tony Spontana, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said that he expected the Denpasar court to reject the application, as the legal norm was that “a judicial review will not prevent an execution”.

Authorities executed six drug offenders, including five foreigners, earlier this month, sparking a diplomatic storm.

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