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Executions to Resume After Presidential Elections

Attorney General Marks Four for Date with Firing Squad from Among 111 Now Sitting on Death Row.

(6/1/2009) NusaBali reports that Indonesia's Attorney General has identified 4 among the 111 people sitting on death row in Indonesia for execution shortly after the coming presidential elections to be held in July 2009.

While not specifically naming those next to be placed before a firing squad, the Deputy Attorney General for General Crimes from the Attorney General's office, Abdul Hakim Ritonga, confirmed that the date of the four deaths will happen sometime after the presidential poll.

Plans to execute two prisoners in late 2008 were postponed when the prisoners filed last-minute appeals of their sentences. The two men separated by a final appeal decision from their final fates are Jurit bin Abdullah, sentenced to death twice in two separate murders committed in May and August 1997, and Ona Denis, a Nigerian who traveled to Indonesia on a Malawian passport in 2001, for smuggling one kilogram of heroin into the country. Denis, originally sentenced to life imprisonment, appealed his original conviction to the High Court which then changed his sentence to death.

The attorney general has also hinted that the death penalty is increasing imminent for Gunawan Santoso, the man who assassinated the boss of PT Asaba.

The rules governing executions in Indonesia are under review, particularly as regard setting a limit on the time available to condemned prisoners to file appeals of their sentences.

While not naming those next to be killed by the State, Ritonga said: "The four to be executed include two foreigners and two Indonesians among this number is also a woman. Among the two foreigners is one Nigerian citizen."

The government has indicated its desire to reduce the number of those sitting on death row in Indonesia by accelerating the appeal and execution process. A number of foreigners are housed in Bali's Kerobokan prison death row, including three young Australian men convicted for trying to smuggle more than 8 kilograms of heroin through Bali's airport in 2005.