An Indonesian court rejected the last-ditch appeals of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the Bali Nine group, who had challenged President Joko Widodo’s rejection of their clemency appeal. The ruling effectively means that all legal channels to challenge their sentence are now closed, a spokesman for the attorney general said, according to CBC.
On Monday, three judges ruled that issues of clemency did not fall under administrative law, placing it outside their jurisdiction, CNN reported. Widodo had earlier ruled out the possibility of granting clemency to the two Australians, who are set to face a firing squad on Indonesia’s maximum security Nusakambangan Island prison.
Leonard Arpan, the lawyer representing the duo, said he would file a legal challenge to Indonesia’s constitutional court hoping to delay the execution. "We will continue our legal efforts," he told reporters, Reuters reported.
Australia has repeatedly called for clemency for the two citizens, and even raised the possibility of a possible prisoner swap with Indonesia. But, Indonesia has consistently turned down these requests. The country’s hard-line prosecution of drug-related offenses has led to a deep diplomatic rift between the two nations.
Chan and Sukumaran have been jailed since 2005 when they were arrested by Indonesian authorities acting on intelligence from Australian police. They are among 10 drug convicts who are set to be executed, a group which includes citizens of France, Brazil, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia.
The duo’s rehabilitation in prison has been seen as a key factor in their clemency appeals. In an interview on Indonesian television, Andrew Chan’s brother Michael said the two men had become a possible model for prison rehabilitation and asked Widodo to grant them clemency, News.com.au reported.
“As a family we are very sorry for this situation and we apologize for Andrew. It has brought a lot of unnecessary shame to Indonesian people and their country,” he said.
Sukumaran began studying fine arts during his imprisonment, and Chan became a counselor for other inmates with drug issues.
President Widodo has made tackling drugs a central part of his presidency. Discussing the need to address the issue, he claimed that 4.5 million Indonesians used drugs, and 40 to 50 young people died from overdoses every day. The country resumed the practice of executing drug traffickers in 2013 after an unofficial moratorium. Over 77 convicted traffickers have been put on death row since 2004.