Indonesia executes eight drug smugglers

Jakarta: Indonesia on Tuesday executed eight out of nine people convicted for drug smuggling despite last-ditch appeals by Australia's foreign minister for a stay on the execution so that claims of corruption during the trials of two Australian prisoners could be investigated.

The executions were carried out by firing squad at midnight at Besi prison on Nusakambangan Island on Tuesday, after the inmates were given three-days notice, Al Jazeera reported.


Indonesia
A coffin bearing the body of Indonesian drug convict Zainal Abidin is buried in Cilacap on April 29, 2015. Eight drug convicts were executed by firing squad on April 29 on the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan in central Indonesia. Photo: AFP

Over the weekend, the authorities asked the nine inmates -- two Australian men, four Nigerian men, a Filipino woman, and one man each from Brazil and Indonesia -- their last wishes.

It was not immediately known which of the convicts was spared.

The families of the Australian convicts had paid an anguished final visit to their loved ones on Tuesday, wailing in grief as ambulances carrying empty white coffins arrived at the prison.

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the media that she received a letter from Indonesia on Monday night that offered no indication of a reprieve for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Earlier in the day, Bishop had asked for a stay in their executions, saying that allegations in the Australian media that their judges had requested money to commute the death sentences were "very serious".

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said such concerns should have been conveyed a decade ago when the case went through the courts.

A former lawyer of the prisoners, Muhammad Rifan, told Australia's Fairfax Media on Monday that Indonesian judges requested more than $100,000 in return for prison terms of less than 20 years.

But Rifan said the judges later told him they had been ordered by senior legal and government members in Jakarta to impose a death penalty, so the deal fell through.

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