Sukumaran, Chan face likely move this week

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are likely to be moved from their Bali jail cells this week, with builders under orders to speed up construction of more isolation cells on the execution island.


Bali’s chief prosecutor Momock Bambang Samiarso says he’s waiting on the green light from Nusakambangan, the central Java jail island, before transferring the Australians.

That’s “very likely” to happen this week, he says.

“What we want is the sooner the better,” he told reporters on Monday.

“If they (Nusakambangan) can be fast, we’ll be fast too.”

The transfer of the Bali Nine pair was postponed last week after it was found there wasn’t enough isolation cells for more than five prisoners.

On Monday, building materials began arriving, and a jail official who did not want to be named said they were under orders to work fast and have the renovations completed within days.

Head of corrections at Central Java Law and Human Rights office, Yuspahruddin, said a partition would be built to separate the death row inmates from other prisoners.

“It’s not that there’s no room,” he said.

“The room is available.

“But because it’s isolation, they must not have any contact with other prisoners.”

The arrival of Sukhoi fighter jets in Bali on Sunday had also fuelled speculation the jail transfer was imminent.

Ngurah Rai Airport airforce commander Sugiharto Prapto said the jets were in Bali as part of an unrelated year-long exercise.

They would be in Bali for seven days and, if called on, could provide security for Chan and Sukumaran’s move.

“If they use a charter plane, we’re ready to secure it so that the operation can be implemented safely and smoothly,” he said.

Meanwhile, advisers to Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo say he should get the executions of drug offenders over and done with, as pressure builds from overseas.

Australia has been making strong representations for clemency to Indonesia on behalf of Chan and Sukumaran, sentenced to death for the 2005 heroin smuggling plot.

But Brazil has taken the strongest stance so far, delaying the acceptance of the credentials of Indonesia’s new ambassador, who has now been recalled to Jakarta.

Brazilian drug smuggler Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira was executed last month.

Pleas for a Brazilian man set for execution this month, Rodrigo Gularte, have gone unheeded, despite evidence he has a severe mental illness.

An adviser on corruption to Mr Joko, international law lecturer Hikmahanto Juwana, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff view Indonesia as “easily pressured”.

He argues Indonesia should push ahead with the executions before any further “foreign intervention” blocks Mr Joko from “exercising his right to sovereignty”.

“Rather than make the situation worse … I think the government should expedite the death penalty,” he said.

Prof Hikmahanto said he hadn’t advised Mr Joko on the executions, but another adviser, Hasyim Muzadi, had also expressed the view they should be expedited.

Tensions between Canberra and Jakarta boiled over last week after Mr Abbott linked Chan and Sukumaran’s fate to Australia’s donation of $1 billion in aid following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Jakarta perceived the comments as threats and warned that “no one responds well to threats”.

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