Indonesia death row convicts Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran lose last-ditch appeal despite mercy plea from Australia

The Australian drug convict is facing execution by firing squad following President Widodo’s refusal of clemency

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Two Australian drug convicts on death-row in Indonesia, known as the leaders of the 'Bali nine', had their last-ditch legal challenge against his sentence rejected on Monday, despite a plea for clemency from Australia.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing execution by firing squad, had challenged the Indonesian court’s decision not to hear an appeal against President Joko Widodo’s refusal of clemency.

Chan and fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran were convicted in 2006 having recruited seven others to smuggle 18 pounds of heroin from Indonesia back to Australia. Both men are among 10 drug convicts on the prison island of Nusakambangan that are to be executed by firing squad. Indonesia’s harsh penalties against drug trafficking became more severe in 2013 when executions were resumed after a five year gap.


Halen Chan, the mother of death-row prisoner Andrew Chan, wipes away tears during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia

The other prisoners are from France, Brazil, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia, and President Widodo denied clemency to all the convicts despite repeated pleas from Australia, Brazil and France.

Chan and Sakumaran had in February attempted to challenge the President’s rejection for clemency, with their lawyers arguing that by issuing a blanket rejection, the President did not give due consideration to each case.

But the administrative court in Jakarta originally dismissed their case on the grounds that it did not have the legal authority to assess it.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General said that the rejection of Chan’s challenge means that he has exhausted all means of legal recourse.

But Chan and Sukumaran's lawyer said they would take the case to the constitutional court: "They have the right to live, and the state attorney knows that [the law] allows them to defend their lives," Leonard Arpan told reporters.

"Where there is life there is hope," said Mercy Campaign on its Facebook page. The group is collecting signatures to petition President Widodo. "We will continue to respectfully ask the President to change his mind."

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 the executions to be carried out together, but they could be conducted in batches.

Additional reporting by Reuters