Bali Nine ringleader Andrew Chan’s parents have said their goodbyes and flown back to Sydney ahead of his planned execution

February 16, 2015 8:23 pm

Bali Nine ringleader Andrew Chan’s parents have said their goodbyes and flown back to Sydney ahead of his planned execution.
Australian
embassy officials will attend a Jakarta meeting on Monday where
Indonesia will convey the formalities in its plan to execute Andrew Chan
and Myuran Sukumaran.
Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry has invited
all embassies with citizens to be executed to the meeting, which could
mean the executions will take place this week.
When Indonesia
executed one Indonesian and five foreign nationals last month, the
meeting with embassies, the announcement of the 72-hours notice and the
executions all happened within the week.

Myuran Sukumaran (left) and Andrew Chan on death row. Photos / AP
The meeting won’t
provide the date but it will discuss the provision of 72 hours’ notice,
access to prisoners for family, and the conduct of foreign media
coverage, a ministry spokesman says.

This comes after Chan’s parents Ken and Helen Chan left
Bali on Sunday night (local time) in the knowledge that they’re unlikely
ever to see their son again.
The couple, looking drawn and exhausted, boarded a flight to Sydney knowing only a miracle would now save him from execution.
Earlier on Sunday the whole family spent time together inside Kerobokan prison for what was likely to be the last time.
It
was only the second time in the past decade that the Chan parents have
sat down together with all their children – Andrew, brother Michael, two
sisters and their spouses, the Courier Mail reported.
Michael said both his parents were leaving Bali “with a heavy heart” and that he could see the pain in their eyes as they left.
He
said that at least his mother was comforted by the fact that on Friday
and Sunday the entire Chan family had been together and shared lunch in
the jail.
“It was the first time we have actually sat down and
had lunch with the whole family in nine years. (On Friday) I think it
was Macca’s but it was still lunch. That was a defining moment for
them,” Michael said.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Michael revealed that despite the pain and agony his family were experiencing, moments of joy also shone through.
“We all want to leave him happy. He’s been able to see his nephew, Kai,” Michael said.
“He’s six months old and he’s rapt about seeing him.
“Basically, it’s the first time we got together as an extended family in nine years. It’s been our first lunch together.”
One
of the Chan family’s most cherished memories will be how several
prisoners wrote to Indonesian president Joko Widodo offering to die in
Chan’s place.
“It has just been phenomenal,” said Michael. “I know Andrew reflects on that and thinks it is a big thing.
“There
are other people on death row, there are big issues in the world. But
to know its on the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment – it makes
them think ‘wow’.”
However, there’s still hope of a late
reprieve after it was alleged by the men’s lawyers on Sunday night that
the Indonesian judges who sentenced Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to death
offered leniency in exchange for money.
But the pair’s lawyers
will seek a meeting with Indonesia’s Attorney-General HM Prasetyo on
Monday to ask for the executions to be delayed, pending further legal
challenges.
Their legal team has made a complaint with the
Indonesian Judicial Commission, based on public comments by Chan and
Sukumaran’s former lawyer, Muhammad Rifan.
They have also challenged of the presidential decrees denying the men clemency without examining their cases or giving reasons.
Mr
Rifan last week alleged there had been “interference” in the case that
saw the Australians sentenced to death when they should have been jailed
for life.
Their complaint claims the judges in the original trial offered a more lenient sentence in exchange for cash.
Mr
Prasetyo says this round of executions takes more planning, because
prisoners have to be transferred from various jails to the execution
location, Nusakambangan island, off Central Java.
Authorities
have permission to move Chan and Sukumaran from Bali’s Kerobokan jail,
and would like to do it “as soon as possible”.
Kerobokan prison governor Sudjonggo told reporters he is ready for the transfer “any time, any day”.
He
said Chan and Sukumaran – who are considered leaders in the prison for
their tireless work to help the rehabilitation and welfare of others –
seemed somewhat resigned to the executions.
“They have surrendered even though there’s still legal efforts going on,” he said on Sunday.
“When clemency is rejected, there’s no other option, what else can we do?
“Let’s just pray. Who knows, there can be miracles.”
The Brisbane Times
said that in an extraordinary statement after visiting the men inside
Kerobokan prison, Mr Rifan said he was prepared to “take the heat” and
provide the “never revealed evidence” to Chan and Sukumaran’s current
lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis.
“It’s something that implicates us,
it could discredit me. But for them I will take it. I told Myuran it’s
okay,” Mr Rifan said cryptically. “It’s one last thing I can do for
them.”
Following his dramatic, if imprecise, comments, Mr Rifan left Indonesia to travel to Mecca for a religious pilgrimage.
But
as the Bali Nine pair on death row come to terms with their imminent
execution, the Indonesian justice system is being accused of hypocrisy
after a local methamphetamine manufacturer avoided the death penalty.
While
Australians Sukumaran and Chan face execution for attempting to smuggle
drugs into from Bali, local kingpin Hangky Gunawan has been
given only a jail sentence for a similar .
Despite hundreds
of pleas for clemency for Sukumaran and Chan, Indonesian president Joko
Widodo maintains that his hard-line stance against drug dealers will not
budge.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also called out
Indonesia’s justice system for its hypocrisy after Mr Widodo offered
“optimum protection” for over 200 of his citizens who face death
sentences overseas – some of them being drug smugglers.
“I should
also just observe today that millions of Australians are feeling very,
very upset about what may soon happen to two Australians in Indonesia,”
Mr Abbott said.
“My plea even at this late stage is for Indonesia
to be as responsive to us as it expects other countries to be to them
when they plead for the lives of their citizens on death row overseas.”

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