SYDNEY: The transfer of two Australians on death row in Indonesia to an island for execution has been delayed to allow them more time with their families, reports said on Tuesday.
But as every surviving former prime minister of Australia urged Jakarta to spare Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the firing squad, Indonesia’s Attorney-General H.M. Prasetyo insisted they would still be killed.
“We are responding to the requests from the Australian government and families,” Prasetyo told The Sydney Morning Herald of the postponement.
“We want the families to meet with Myuran and Andrew, to give them more time to be with the convicts on death row. This is not delaying the executions. This is just to provide the families with more time,” he added.
Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, were sentenced to death in 2006 over their roles as ringleaders of a plot to smuggle heroin from Indonesia’s Bali island to Australia.
They were set to be transported to a high-security prison on the island of Nusakambangan ahead of their execution as early as Wednesday, although no firm date has been announced.
Several other foreigners on death row whose clemency appeals have also been rejected, including from Brazil, France, Ghana, Nigeria and the Philippines, were also expected to be transferred soon.
Prasetyo said he did not know how much more time Chan and Sukumaran would be given, and reiterated that no date had yet been set for the executions.
“This is not something easy. This is not something fun but this is what we must do,” he said. “The law states that they have to be executed once clemency has been rejected by the president,” he added.