Thursday, September 17, 2015

Still no plans for new round of executions —Indonesia

JAKARTA - Indonesian authorities have still not made plans for a new round of executions, an official said Wednesday, almost three months after a French drug convict on death row lost an appeal. 
The execution in April of two Australians, a Brazilian and four Nigerians for drug offenses sparked international anger but President Joko Widodo publicly refused to back down, insisting that traffickers must face harsh punishment. 
Speculation had been mounting that Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who had been due to be executed in April but was granted a temporary reprieve, would be next to face the firing squad after losing a court appeal against his death sentence in June. 
The welder, arrested at a secret drugs factory outside Jakarta in 2005, is among several foreigners facing death in Indonesia for drugs offenses, including British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford and Filipina Mary Jane Veloso.
But since Atlaoui's appeal, the government has been tight-lipped on the subject of executions and the attorney-general's office—in charge of putting people to death—has shown no sign of preparing for a new round. 
Amir Yanto, a spokesman for the attorney-general's office, confirmed Thursday there were still no plans.
"There is no such agenda so far," he told AFP, adding that the government was currently focused on fixing the economy. The president has made boosting economic growth, which is at six-year lows, a priority in recent months.
Veloso, who has always maintained her innocence and said human-traffickers duped her, was also due to be executed in April but was granted a last-minute temporary reprieve. 
Jakarta insists her sentence has only been postponed while legal proceedings run their course in the Philippines.
Sandiford was sentenced to death after being caught trying to smuggle a stash of cocaine into Bali.
Indonesia has some of the world's toughest anti-narcotics laws. It resumed executions in 2013 after a hiatus of several years and since Widodo took office, 14 drug convicts—mostly foreigners—have been executed. —Agence France-Presse

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