The beheading of two domestic workers in Saudi Arabia makes no difference to Indonesia’s plans to execute two Australians and eight others, its attorney-general says.
Friday marks 10 years since Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were arrested for the Bali Nine heroin smuggling plot, and Sukumaran’s 34th birthday.
He will spend it in an isolated cell on Nusakambangan Island, not far from where he and Chan would be sent to the firing squad as soon as this month.
Their legal quest for mercy rests with the same court that has previously recommended an option for a life sentence after a decade of reform.
Lawyers last week lodged a challenge with the Constitutional Court to challenge the clemency process, but the court is yet to register it.
Barrister Julian McMahon says in 2007, the same court upheld the constitutional validity of the death penalty, but also recommended that a death row prisoner who showed rehabilitation after 10 years have the option of being re-sentenced to a fixed term.
“There’s absolutely no doubt my two clients have done a heroic job in reforming themselves and many others,” Mr McMahon told AAP.
“I see that as an opportunity to enliven the constitutional court jurisprudence.”
Chan is now a pastor and Sukumaran now a painter, and both had a hugely positive impact on fellow inmates at Kerobokan jail.
But President Joko Widodo refused clemency to the men and argues there is a “drugs emergency”.
No date has been fixed for the executions of the Sydney men and eight other drug offenders, but officials are considering a date after the Asian African Conference ends on April 24.
There were protests outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Jakarta on Friday following the beheading of two Indonesian domestic workers this week.
Indonesia’s government has lodged official protests over the fact no notice was given.
Asked if it would have any impact on Indonesia’s own execution plans Attorney-General HM Prasetyo told reporters: “Oh no. We respect the rule of law.
“The difference is that we provide notification of an execution.”
He said he was still waiting for the results of the prisoners’ legal appeals before setting an execution date.
Besides Chan and Sukumaran, Frenchman Serge Atlaoui and Ghanian Martin Anderson have filed for Supreme Court judicial reviews.
Atlaoui, a welder, has always denied the charges against him, arguing he believed he was working in an acrylics factory, not an ecstasy lab.
His wife Sabine told reporters in Jakarta on Friday that after two months in Indonesia with the executions looming, she was returning to France under the same uncertainty.
“We still have hope in the Supreme Court decision,” she said.
“For me, it’s unimaginable that my husband will be executed.”
Lawyers for Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, a Filipina also facing execution, are waiting for the Philippines government to access documents before filing for a second judicial review.
Sukumaran and Chan were identified as the leaders of the plot to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin, taped to the bodies of young mules, on April 17, 2005.