Corruption allegations deepen Australia-Indonesia row

Allegations were made regarding the Indonesian judges request for money to alter death sentences

Corruption allegations deepen Australia-Indonesia row

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Australia made a last-minute plea on Monday for a stay in the imminent execution of two Australian drug traffickers in Indonesia, saying that reports their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to be investigated.

The call from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop almost immediately deepened a diplomatic row with Jakarta.

Bishop said the allegations that judges requested money to commute the death sentences for the pair were "very serious" and called into question the integrity of the sentencing process.

Indonesia's foreign ministry hit back, saying Australia needed to show proof of alleged corruption and questioned why concerns were being only raised now instead of 10 years ago.

Armanatha Nasir, spokesman for Indonesia's foreign ministry, said Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have been given all the legal avenues to challenge their death sentences.

The two are among nine drug convicts, including others from Brazil and Nigeria, due to be executed by firing squad as soon as Tuesday night.

Bali-based lawyer Muhammad Rifan told the Sydney Morning Herald that he had agreed to pay judges in the cases of Chan and Sukumaran more than A$130,000 ($101,647) to give them a prison term of less than 20 years.

Rifan said the deal fell through when the judges told him they had been ordered by senior legal and government members in Jakarta to impose a death penalty and he didn't have enough money to meet a revised, higher demand for a lighter sentence.

"It's a matter for Indonesia's Judicial Commission to investigate these matters and that underlines why we continue to request Indonesia to allow the judicial commission to finalise its review," Bishop told reporters.

"An execution is an irrevocable step and I believe that these hearings and these appeal processes should be concluded before any decision is taken."

Rifan could not be reached for comment.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Nisan 2015, 12:14