Tuesday, April 28, 2015 5:27 pm
Although Indonesian authorities granted Australian Andrew Chan’s last wish, which was to marry his Indonesian girlfriend at the prison, they rebuffed last-minute appeals from Australia to spare him and his compatriot, Myuran Sukumaran from the firing stakes.
The duo were arrested in 2005 as the ringleaders of a plot to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.
The pending executions, expected midnight, have strained Indonesia’s relations with Australia, Nigeria and Brazil, which will likely worsen after the death sentences are carried out.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC television: “Should these executions proceed in the manner that I anticipate, of course, there will have to be consequences.”
Australia-Indonesia relations have been tested in recent years by disputes over people smuggling and spying. In late 2013 Indonesia recalled its envoy and froze military and intelligence cooperation over reports that Canberra had spied on top Indonesian officials, including the former president’s wife.
Indonesia has harsh punishments for drug crimes and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap. Six have been executed so far this year.
Widodo’s steadfastness on the executions, which has strong public support at home, stands in contrast to a series of policy flip-flops since he took office six months ago. Palace insiders and government officials portray him as sometimes out of his depth and struggling to get around entrenched vested interests.