19 Mar 2015

Bali smugglers' execution delayed

6:43 pm on 19 March 2015

Two Australian drug smugglers on death row in Indonesia may not be executed for some months, Indonesia's vice-president Jusuf Kalla says.

Australian's Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan are on death row in Indonesia.

Australian's Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan are on death row in Indonesia. Photo: AFP

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were listed for execution last month, but that has been delayed to allow the legal challenges of up to 11 death row inmates to finish.

The men's lawyers are starting a court appeal against their execution today and others due to be executed with them have separate challenges underway.

The Australians' team will challenge the president's blanket refusal to grant clemency for drug offenders.

The appeal was adjourned last week after lawyers for the president were denied authorisation to represent him because they turned up without complete paperwork.

Three judges will hear both sides put their up their best arguments but a result may not be delivered until a later date.

Mr Kalla conceded in an interview with the Reuters new agency that it could be "weeks or maybe months" until Indonesia's courts decide on the last-minute appeals of the condemned inmates, who are mostly foreigners.

He said Indonesia was more cautious in handling the legal appeals following diplomatic efforts to save the prisoners.

"We will always hear and consider opinions not only from Australia but also France and Brazil," Mr Kalla said.

"That is why we are very careful in ... following the process of the law."

He said: "We're waiting for the decision of the courts," adding it could take "weeks or maybe months".

Last week, Indonesia's attorney-general Muhammad Prasetyo told Indonesian journalists the next round of executions would be carried out once all of the condemned inmates had finished their appeals.

Chan and Sukumaran are among a group of 11 drug offenders due to face the firing squad.

They were transferred from their Bali prison early this month to the Nusakambangan island prison off Java, in preparation for their execution.

- ABC

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