Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bali Bombers Get Visit

I am still waiting for them to get set free at the last minute.

Bali bombers await last visit from their families

FAMILIES of the three death-row Bali bombers are awaiting approval to make a final visit to the southern Java jail where the men await death by firing squad.

However, despite repeated taunts from the trio of Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron, alias Mukhlas, that they are ready to die as "martyrs", the men's legal team is engaged in a lobbying campaign to delay the executions as long as possible.

In a move that will be viewed with extreme cynicism by family and friends of the 202 people who died in the Legian bombings five years ago this week, Islamic Defence Team head lawyer Achmad Michdan admits he is determined to draw the process out as far as he can.

"We will lodge another appeal and ask that a proper examination of it be conducted," said a defiant Mr Michdan, irritated that the retroactive application of anti-terrorism legislation used to convict his clients was upheld in the Supreme Court last month.

But even if he wins the right for a second appeal - an extremely unlikely outcome - under Indonesian law, the trio still cannot be executed until they waive their right to presidential clemency.

"There must be a request for clemency - and if there is not, there must be a written statement that they really don't want clemency. We don't have that yet," Attorney-General Hendarman Supandji said.

Interviewed by a local journalist in recent days, the trio declared they were looking forward to meeting their executioners - a crack firing squad of special brigade police, one with a live bullet in his rifle and the others loaded with blanks, all aimed at the guilty men's hearts.

"This is the most wonderful moment for us because soon we will become martyrs," Mukhlas said.

The men will be allowed to join communal prayers this week with other inmates in their high-security jail on the island of Nusakambangan, off the southern Java coast, to mark Islam's holiest day of Idul Fitri.

The day is most likely to fall on Saturday, although there remains a strong chance it could be on Friday - the anniversary of the mass murders - with Indonesians awaiting a formal announcement on timing from the Government tomorrow night.

Idul Fitri is usually an opportunity for Muslims to ask forgiveness of others for any wrongs they might have committed, though for the families of the three men, there is likely to be little hand-wringing over crimes committed.

In fact, this week, the older brother of Amrozi, east Java Islamic school teacher Mohammad Khozin, was soliciting money from journalists for interviews regarding the impending executions.

The legal team had asked that 30 family members be allowed into the jail to visit the three, an official from Indonesia's justice ministry confirmed yesterday.

Idul Fitri will also mark the granting of remissions to several accomplices in the Bali bomb plot, in a cruel coincidence of timing for those observing the anniversary of the atrocity.

Indonesia's justice system does not set minimum non-parole periods at sentencing, but rather requires the awarding of twice-yearly term remissions to prisoners. All prisoners serving terms lighter than life, and who have exhausted all other legal processes, are automatically considered for the remissions.