Indonesia

death penalty for murder; Drug trafficking; Terrorism;
Capital punishment is regulated by state Law No. 2/1964, which stipulates that death sentences should be carried out by firing squad.

Indonesian death penalty laws to be softened to allow reformed prisoners to avoid execution

January 12,2018

Indonesian politicians have agreed to soften the nation’s harsh death penalty laws.The proposed new laws would impose a 10-year stay on executions, after which the death penalty could be commuted to a prison term.

“The legislation in the draft penal code is a small step towards abolition,” said death penalty critic Ricky Gunawan, the director of Indonesia’s Community Legal Aid Institute.

“It’s a compromise between groups who are for and against the death penalty.”

The changes would give authorities much greater leeway to avoid executing reformed prisoners, like Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran who were shot by firing squad in 2015.

Both men were model prisoners who were praised for helping their fellow inmates.

They were among 18 convicted drug smugglers executed in 2015 and 2016.

“There are so many death row prisoners who show transformation,” Mr Gunawan said.

“The issue at stake is how to ensure prisoners like Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran could be seen by the Government as eligible to have their sentence commuted.”

Change makes commutation decision ‘highly political’

The 10-year stay on executions would be followed by an automatic review of the penalty by Indonesia’s law and human rights minister.

The minister could recommend a death sentence be commuted to life in prison or a 20-year term.

Mr Gunawan said he would like to see the review done by an independent committee rather than a politician.

“The decision rests with the minister for law and human rights — therefore it’s highly political,” he said.

“There is a need for an independent body to advise the President.”

Legislators have agreed on the proposed law changes, but they are part of sweeping review of the nation’s criminal code that will not be enacted for several years.

Eighteen people have been executed under the rule of President Joko Widodo. Most were foreigners and all were convicted of drug smuggling.

The executions caused significant damage to Indonesia’s relationship with Australia, among other countries.

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Australian man facing death row in Bali after he was ‘caught with 20 grams of meth’ is rushed to hospital ‘suffering shock’ – as his lawyer says the former top accountant is ‘a suicide risk’

December 19,2017

An Australian man facing the death penalty in Bali after being caught with crystal meth and ecstasy pills has been rushed to hospital apparently suffering from shock.

Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, (pictured) born in Toowoomba, south Queensland, was allegedly caught with the drugs hidden in his suitcase on December 4, but his arrest was kept hidden from the public until now

Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, born in Toowoomba, south Queensland, was once a high-flying accountant from Queensland who even ran for parliament.

After being allegedly caught with the drugs and arrested on charges which carry the death penalty, he has since been rushed to hospital, according to the Herald Sun.

His lawyer said Roberts suffered from depression and had a risk of committing suicide.

The 35-year-old fell ill on Monday night after facing charges which carry a maximum of 20 years in jail or the death penalty.

Deni Sedana, one of Roberts’ lawyers, said his client fell ill late on Tuesday.

Roberts was apparently given medication and then returned to his jail cell.

‘He got sick. He was shocked after the press conference today,’ Mr Sedana said.

‘He has a big tendency to do suicide because he often feels depression. He has a mental disorder.’ 

Mr Sedana said Roberts had planned to fly from Bangkok, Thailand to Australia, but was convinced by a friend to go to Bali instead.

Roberts was allegedly caught with the drugs hidden in his suitcase on December 4, but his arrest was kept hidden from the public until now.

The 35-year-old chartered accountant confessed to being a prolific drug user and told waiting media he was a ‘f***ing addict’, but alleges he is not a dealer.

Roberts ran as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the seat of Higgins in Melbourne in 2009. He was unsuccessful, polling eighth out of 10 candidates.

His social media accounts reveal the alleged drug user to be a dedicated gym junkie who regularly visits the Indonesian island and Thailand.

Pictures on his Instagram show his frequent travels to Asian destinations such as Sukhumvit in Bangkok, Thailand.

Roberts was travelling from Bangkok into Bali when he was allegedly caught with the drugs.

He works as a professional accountant and was last registered as an employee of M-Tax Accountants in Queensland.

His career in accounting has taken him to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Shocking photographs surfaced on Tuesday showing him sitting in a media conference wearing orange prisoner garb and a black balaclava over his head.

He was pictured beside two other suspects guarded by police officers who wore balaclavas and carried rifles.

Roberts was allegedly found with 6.22 grams of ecstasy, 14.32 grams of methamphetamine and 22 mils of a psychotropic substance.

Details of his arrest were kept secret until Tuesday, when the drug bust was announced by Indonesian officials.

‘We have arrested an Australian, IER, for bringing drugs into Bali,’ Customs and Excise Officer Husni Syaiful said.

Roberts reportedly arrived in Bali on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok on December 4.

The drugs were allegedly discovered when his luggage was X-rayed.

Indonesia carries the maximum death penalty for drug importation crimes.

Speaking to media after the conference, Roberts reportedly said he was invited to Indonesia by a customs officer.

‘I was working with a customs officer and they knew I was going to bring something,’ he told reporters in Bali.

‘I’m just a f*****g addict. They want to waste resources on addicts, they want to punish addicts? This is ridiculous. What about the f…..g importers? I wasn’t going to sell it to anyone here, no one was going to use it here. This is ridiculous. This is an embarrassment.’

Indonesian police alleged Roberts admitted to being a drug user, but denied he was a dealer.

Roberts is being held in jail at police headquarters in Denpasar, Indonesia.

When the police investigation is finished, he will reportedly be transferred to Kerobokan prison – where he will await trial.

Roberts describes himself as a Chartered Accountant and Registered Tax Agent on his personal website.

‘I specialise in personal income tax returns, however years of experience in corporate tax have given me the confidence to service many business clients,’ he said.   

 

 

Indonesia’s struggling economy cannot afford another execution, Bali Nine lawyer warns

Indonesia’s struggling economy could be one reason why there has been little word of the country’s next round of executions, according to the lead lawyer for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Australians Chan and Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine, were among several foreigners shot dead in April.
According to high-profile Indonesian lawyer and professor Todung Mulya Lubis, who has been in Australia to talk about an ongoing campaign against the death penalty, it is too early to say if the economic slowdown was contributing to a de facto moratorium.
“But I believe that Jokowi now realises that he has to pay the price for those two executions,” Professor Lubis said.
Late last year Indonesian president Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, said there would be no clemency for more than 60 people convicted of drugs offences, and two rounds of executions were carried out in the early part of 2015.
Indonesia’s economic growth has now dipped below 5 per cent for two consecutive quarters this year, and much needed foreign investment is yet to pour in to help build up the nation’s depleted infrastructure.
“The economy is not good at the moment,” Professor Lubis said.
“We have a problem with our debt, you know, the balance. We have a problem with the weakening of the Indonesian currency.
“We have a problem with declining exports to other countries. And we cannot afford to have another execution, as simple as that.”
The shooting of Chan and Sukumaran and several others, including a Brazilian man with mental health issues, saw substantial international pressure, including from the United Nations, put on the president.
The first round of executions in February resulted in a diplomatic stoush with Brazil, with some Indonesian politicians raising the idea of trade recriminations.
Mr Widodo was also supported domestically for pushing back against what was seen to be international meddling and for taking a strong stance against the drug trade.
Widodo ‘knows new investment is not coming’
In the lead-up to the execution Mr Widodo was quietly advised by some prominent Indonesians of the damage using the death penalty could cause to relations with other countries including Australia, Holland, France and Brazil.
Now, with Indonesia recording its lowest economic growth rate for six years, investors are generally staying on the sidelines, waiting to see if the new government can deliver reforms, including dealing with regulatory certainty.
Professor Lubis is also known for his work with large corporate entities, and said he was seeing first-hand the nervousness in the business community about government policies.
Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, Frenchman Serge Atlaoui
“Jokowi realises, he understands, new investment is not coming to Indonesia,” he said.
“Even the existing investment cannot be maintained. They may go any time.
“And I as a lawyer come across that. I know some of the companies … are considering leaving, so that is not very good.”
“I know some of the companies we work with are considering leaving.”
A Frenchman and a Filipino woman escaped the firing squad in late April, and Indonesia’s attorney-general has signalled a third round of executions has not yet been scheduled.
A 59-year-old British woman is among those facing the death penalty as part of the president’s hardline stance.
Source: ABC News, Helen Brown, August 31, 2015

 

Indonesian worker escapes death penalty in Malaysia

An Indonesian migrant working in Malaysia, Walfrida Soik from East Nusa Tenggara, has narrowly avoided the death sentence.
The Kota Bharu High Court in Malaysia ruled on Tuesday to acquit Walfrida of murder charges, sparing her from the death penalty, because she suffers from a mental illness.
The court ordered Walfrida to be treated at Permai Johor Bharu Mental Hospital until she was deemed eligible for a complete pardon from the Sultan of Kelantan.
Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia, Herman Prayitno, welcomed the verdict and lauded the involvement of different parties that assisted with Walfrida’s defense.
To speed up the legal process, Herman said that he would send a request for remission to the Sultan of Kelantan.
“This case is a reminder to us of the importance of monitoring the practice of sending illegal migrant workers [overseas],” Herman said in a press release, as quoted by tribunnew.com on Tuesday.
Walfrida faced the death penalty for murdering her employer’s relative in December 2010.
She was an undocumented migrant worker as she was still underage when she was sent to Malaysia.
Source: The Jakarta Post, August 25, 2015

 

Indonesia: Dozens of RI nationals on death row for drugs

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) has said that there are currently 129 Indonesian nationals facing the death penalty for their role in drug smuggling.
“The majority of them are migrant workers who were tricked into becoming couriers by international drug syndicates and most of them are women,” BNN chief Anang Iskandar said as quoted by Antara news agency on Sunday.
The BNN has appealed to Indonesian citizens, especially migrant workers in Hong Kong and Macau, to remain alert over the danger of drug syndicates in the countries in which they work.
“They should not be easily duped. They should be careful when someone wants to entrust something to them. Also be very careful with strangers,” he said.
Anang earlier warned women in the country to be careful when dating foreigners, suggesting they could be tricked into becoming drug mules. He said that many Indonesian women were languishing in prisons abroad because they were “easily tricked into drug-trafficking”. On Sunday, Anang also called on Indonesian nationals who use drugs abroad to immediately stop and seek help from an Indonesian representative office. The office, he said, could recommend them to a rehab center.
“We are cooperating with a number of countries on a bilateral and multilateral basis to prevent and eradicate drug abuse, and to unravel international drug networks that use Indonesian citizens as mules or consider Indonesia a part of their smuggling route,” he said.
Anang also said that the demand for drugs in Indonesia remained very high, making the country one of the main destinations for drug smuggling.
The BNN estimates that there are more than 4.2 million active drug users in the country.
“If one of them consumes 0.2 grams a day, it means 80 kilograms of drugs is needed every day to satiate demand, or 2.4 tons per month and 29 tons per year,” he said.
Indonesian consul general in Hong Kong, Chalief Akbar Tjandraningrat, said there were 28 Indonesian citizens currently embroiled in drug cases in Hong Kong.
“12 of them are still in detention, while 16 others have been sentenced. In Macau the number is 10, and most of them are couriers and most are women,” he said.
Under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration, the government has implemented tougher measures on drug offenders.
Declaring a “drug emergency”, President Jokowi has called for the death penalty for drug dealers and has rejected clemency pleas from convicted traffickers. Despite protests from human rights campaigners and the international community, his administration executed 14 convicts – including foreigners of multiple nationalities – in January and May of this year.
Source: The Jakarta Post, August 24, 2015

Read more: http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.com/2015/08/indonesia-dozens-of-ri-nationals-on.html#ixzz3jrfvGNL5

Bali nine pair bribery claims: investigation ends without key witnesses

August 23, 2015

Indonesian authorities have shut down an investigation into allegations that judges asked for bribes in exchange for more lenient sentences for executed Bali nine pair Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan without interviewing the judges and a key lawyer involved in the case.

Muhammad Rifan, one of the men’sformer lawyers, made the sensational allegations that the judges asked for more than $130,000 for the drug smugglers to be given a prison term of less than 20 years during their original trial.

As revealed by Fairfax Media, Mr Rifan alleged the deal fell through after the judges presiding over the hearings in Denpasar District Court asked for more money because they were under pressure from the Indonesian Supreme Court and Attorney-General’s Department to apply the death penalty.

After starting and then abandoning its investigation before Sukumaran and Chan were executed by firing squad, the judicial commission – which oversees the probity of Indonesian judges – re-commenced the probe after their deaths.

“The report on the alleged breach of the code of ethics is closed because the judicial commission has not got sufficient evidence,” said Imam Anshori Saleh, a member of the commission.

“Rifan’s testimony was heard but he refused for it to be [officially] put in the interrogation report,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Peter [Johnson’s] lawyers have been summoned twice but refused to meet with us and respond.”

Without the lawyers’ evidence, the judicial commission won’t interview the judges or other witnesses.

Mr Johnson, an Australian, is a prominent lawyer in Bali and was Mr Rifan’s boss at the Austrindo law firm which represented most of the members of the Bali nine heroin smuggling ring in their original trials in 2005 and 2006.

Mr Johnson, who changed the name of the firm to Vidhi Law Office this year and has fallen out with Mr Rifan, declined to comment on Sunday when asked via text message about his refusal to co-operate with the inquiry.

Mr Rifan told Fairfax Media the investigation was now pointless, as Sukumaran and Chan were dead.

But the men’s lead lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, said the end of the investigation was premature and “wrong”.

“They have not done their job. They are supposed to investigate properly and uphold the integrity of the judiciary,” he said, adding he had not been informed of the probe finishing.

The Australians in the Bali nine syndicate were arrested after 8.3 kilos of heroin were detected by Indonesian authorities at Denpasar airport on April 17, 2005.

After a series of trials and appeals, only Chan and Sukumaran were left facing the death penalty. Both supplied written statements to the judicial commission about the alleged bribery before they were killed.

Mr Rifan also provided a statement after first alluding to the bribery in a dramatic press conference outside Kerobokan prison in February this year, saying there had been “interference” in the case.

Just days before the men were executed on April 29, he finally outlined his account of the alleged bribery.

“It was more than 1 billion rupiah [about $130,000 at the time] to get a verdict lower than 20 years. …15 or 16 or 17 years like that,” he said.

He also revealed in the interview with former Dateline host Mark Davis that he had been threatened after his initial comments outside Kerobokan prison.

“The judges don’t like me telling the truth. I get many telephone calls threatening me,” he told Davis. “When I call back, the numbers, they are not valid.”

The callers, he said, told him that “if I expose anything, it will be trouble for me”.

with Karuni Rompies

 

Saving Mary Jane

With just minutes to spare, Filipina Mary Jane Veloso escaped death by an Indonesian firing squad that executed eight other foreigners found guilty of drug trafficking.

Her lawyers argue Mary Jane is not a criminal but a victim of human trafficking. Like so many other Filipino workers forced to leave home to find work, they say she was poor, vulnerable and deceived. And if they can save her, they may be able to save others like her facing death row.

101 East investigates the case of Mary Jane as her family and supporters fight to bring her home.

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Source: 101 East, August 20, 2015