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 Bali Nine: Lawyer for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan may demand investigation into reports of judges' requests for bribes

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BerichtOnderwerp: Bali Nine: Lawyer for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan may demand investigation into reports of judges' requests for bribes   ma 16 feb 2015 - 0:45

From ABC News, 16/02/2015,

A legal team representing Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan may demand an investigation into reports the judges who gave them the death penalty asked for bribes.

The convicted Australians are on death row in Indonesia for coordinating the drug smuggling group known as the Bali Nine.

Their former lawyer, Muhammad Rifan, recently revealed he had information about how the men's case was interfered with.

He is reportedly accusing judges who handed down the death sentence of asking for bribes to give a lesser sentence.

Their current lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, said no evidence had been produced.

But another lawyer at Todung's firm said they were considering demanding an investigation, because if the allegations were true then it raised serious questions about whether these two men actually had a proper hearing, and whether they were given the death sentence legitimately through the legal system or whether it was simply because no bribe was paid.

Meanwhile, the pair's lawyers have written to Indonesia's attorney-general seeking a stay on the executions because of an ongoing legal challenge.

The team is disputing the Indonesian president's refusal to grant pardons without considering the cases individually.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott would not comment on the bribery claims but said he believed there were still legal avenues that could be pursued.

"What we understand is that there are still legal options available to these two Australians and their legal teams," he said.

"And we certainly appreciate that the Indonesian government doesn't normally go ahead with executions of this type while there are legal options still available."

Mr Abbott said he had made a fresh "personal" representation to Indonesian president Joko Widodo.

"Like millions of Australians, I feel sick in the pit of my stomach when I think about what is quite possibly happening to these youngsters and, like every parent, I want to try to ensure that nothing terrible happens to people," he said.

But he added he did not want to "peddle false hope" nor turn it into a "test of strength" with the Indonesians.

Bishop advised against Indonesian visit

Plans for the execution of the pair are underway with Australian diplomats scheduled to meet Indonesian authorities today in Jakarta.

According to an outline of the agenda, officials will explain the procedure for the execution, the timing of when the families will be notified, and other details including arrangements for foreign media coverage.

Representatives of all foreign countries whose citizens are among the group scheduled to be executed have been summoned to the meeting.

Consular officials have warned Foreign Minister Julie Bishop against travelling to Indonesia to make an eleventh-hour plea on behalf of the pair.

Ms Bishop is still engaged in a wide-ranging campaign for clemency, saying it would be a grave injustice for Indonesia to carry out the executions.

"I have to take the advice of our very experienced consular officials, those who've been involved in these kinds of cases before," she said.

"I'm told that if I flew to Indonesia at the time, it could potentially be counter-productive and precipitate an unfavourable outcome."

The Indonesian consul to the Northern Territory said he hoped Australia would continue to work with Indonesia to prevent drug trafficking in south-east Asia.

Andrew Siregar said the executions of Sukumaran and Chan would send a signal to drug traffickers.

"We're hopeful that both our governments will prevent such criminal activity because our children are the ones that suffer," he said.

"I understand the discussions and emotions are rising from this in the past few weeks ... but in the big picture of things, we're really faced with a threat by these drug traffickers."

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