Bali Nine: Australia urges executions halt – BBC News

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in court in 2006

Andrew Chan, left, and Myuran Sukumaran were sentenced to death in 2006

Australia has called on Indonesia to delay executing two convicted Australian drug traffickers until corruption claims are investigated.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she spoke to her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi late on Sunday.

She said there was still an appeal before Indonesia’s Constitutional Court and a separate investigation at the country’s Judicial Commission.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were convicted in 2006.

The two men, along with six other foreigners and one Indonesian man, have been formally informed of their execution.

Under Indonesian law, convicts must be given 72 hours’ notice of execution. This means the executions by the firing squad could be carried out as early as Tuesday.

A French convict, Serge Atlaoui, still has an appeal before the courts. France has warned of “consequences” if the execution goes ahead.

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Ms Bishop said the two Australians should not be executed while legal issues remained.

“I should point out that Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran’s lawyers are pursuing action before the Constitutional Court in Indonesia,” she told Australia’s ABC News.

“And there’s also a separate investigation under way by the Indonesian Judicial Commission into claims of corruption into the original trial and both of these processes raise questions about the integrity of the sentencing and the clemency process.”

Ms Bishop also said she was “profoundly dismayed” by the 72-hour execution notice.

The claims that the Indonesian judges in the trial had asked for bribes for lighter sentences first surfaced earlier this year.

One of the judges involved in the case denied there had been political interference or negotiations about bribes.

“I can assure you there was none,” the judge told Fairfax Media. “We protected ourselves from everybody. It was purely our decision.”

Separately, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo in what is being seen as a final plea to stop the executions, the BBC’s Jon Donnison in Sydney reports.

Chan and Sukumaran, along with seven other Australians, were arrested in Bali in 2005 for trying to smuggle more than 18lb (8.3kg) of heroin from Indonesia to Australia.

The pair were later found to be the ringleaders of the group and sentenced to death.

Australia’s top politicians have been actively campaigning for clemency for the two.

The other seven members of the “Bali Nine” are currently serving either life or 20 years in prison.

Indonesia has some of the toughest drug laws in the world and ended a four-year moratorium on executions in 2013.