Two Australian drug smugglers set to be executed by firing squad in Indonesia have entered their final hours with their families collapsing in tears as they said their goodbyes. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are
expected to be executed at around midnight on the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan – 5pm UK time – and were visited by their emotional families in prison today.
The relatives were mobbed by journalists as they arrived at the prison, with the sister of Sukumaran collapsing and needing to be carried.
The shooting is set to go ahead despite Indonesia’s Constitutional Court agreeing to hear a legal challenge brought by the duo and setting a hearing date of May 12.
Chan and Sukumaran are part of the Bali Nine who were convicted in 2005 over a plot to smuggle around 18.2lbs of heroin from Indonesia to Australia.
The pair, as well as other death row inmates, have remained defiant in their final hours inside the prison on Indonesia’s ‘death island’, where coffins were seen arriving earlier this evening.
Chan married his fiancé of less than three months inside the prison today, as family paid what will be one of their last visits.
Their wedding was held just months after the drugs ringleader proposed to his girlfriend at Kerobokan Prison.
Meanwhile Sukumaran indicated through a close friend that he will not wear a blindfold when he faces the firing squad because he wants to look his killers in the eye.
Leonard Arpan, lawyer for the two men, said he had lodged an appeal against the death sentences, but Indonesia’s attorney general Muhammad Prasetyo said it would not stop the executions taking place.
Mr Prasetyo said: ‘This, I feel … is proof that they intend to buy time only, by playing with our law.
‘I think this is enough, I am saying this is enough — the legal process has been done.’
Families of both of the men visited them today and were told they will have to say their final goodbyes today.
Chan’s mother was in tears as she boarded a ferry to the island with the pair’s Australian lawyer Julian McMahon.
Sukumaran was denied the opportunity to hug his mother goodbye after guards refused to remove his handcuffs, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The date of the executions became official when a local funeral director was instructed to inscribe the names of those to be shot by firing squad and the date of their deaths.
Chan and Sukumaran both refused to sign their execution warrants during official proceedings on Saturday, saying they believed it would be unjust to kill them.
The latter’s brother, Chinthu Sukumaran, said: ‘He’s found peace with what may happen but he and we all feel that this is a grave injustice and it did not have to be this way and it still doesn’t have to be this way.’
He also called on Indonesia President Joko Widodo to give clemency to the men.
‘Please, please show mercy,’ he said. ‘There are nine people with families that love them.
‘That’s mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.
‘We ask the president to please use his powers to intervene and save their lives.’
The Australian men are expected to be led from their isolated cells in Batu prison and through tropical forest.
THEIR FINAL HOURS RE-ENACTED ON TELEVISION
The chilling reenactment of how executions are carried out in Indonesia which was broadcast to millions of viewers is set to become a brutal reality for Andrew Chan and Myruan Sukumaran.
Time has run out for the Bali Nine ringleaders who will face 12 marksmen, with only three of them holding loaded guns, at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday night – 3am Eastern Standard Time – in the depths of the jungle on Nusakambangan Island in Java.
The Australian men are expected to be led from their isolated cells in Batu prison through the wildly dense tropical forest up a 3km steep winding track to a place called Nirbaya – or more appropriately known as Death Valley.
The condemned pair will be given white clothing to wear, which symbolises the afterlife, before beginning their fatal trek and are given the option to be blindfolded with a piece of fabric before facing the firing squad who will be lined up anywhere from five to 10 metres in front of them.
The confronting decisions continue for the death row inmates with the opportunity to choose whether to stand, sit or kneel before a cross is placed over their hearts acting as a target for the 12 riflemen – of which nine will have blanks and only three will have live rounds.
If necessary their hands or feet will be tied to a 3m high pole or worse still – a wooden execution chair.