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Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan in a 2010 file picture

Oz Drug Smugglers Lose Latest Death Row Appeal

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan face the firing squad in Indonesia after the decision by the president.

Two Australian men are set to be executed for drug smuggling after their latest appeal was rejected,reports Sky News.  Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were found guilty in 2005 of being the ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” drug smuggling gang.  They were sentenced to death the following year.

Australia has been pursuing a campaign to save the men – but the Indonesian president has refused to grant them clemency.  President Joko Widodo said: “The first thing I need to say firmly is that there shouldn’t be any intervention towards the death penalty because it is our sovereign right to exercise our law.”

Their appeals for presidential clemency, typically a death row inmate’s final chance of avoiding the firing squad, were rejected by Mr Widodo in recent months.  The Administrative Court in Jakarta has now dismissed an application to challenge the president’s refusal to grant them clemency.

Judge Hendro Puspito said: “Clemency is the prerogative of the president… the state administrative court has no right to rule on the challenge.”  The pair now have 14 days to lodge an appeal.  Authorities originally said the pair would be put to death in February but last week announced that their executions would be delayed by up to a month.   They blamed “technical reasons”, insisting sustained diplomatic pressure from Canberra had nothing to do with the decision.

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