(Transcript from World News Radio)
An Indonesian judge has adjourned an appeal mounted by lawyers for the two Australians facing the firing squad.
The lawyers went before a state administrative court which had ruled last month that it didn’t have the authority to hear a legal challenge against President Joko Widodo’s refusal to grant the pair a reprieve.
The judge adjourned the hearing until March 19 because some of the necessary paperwork had not been submitted and a lawyer for President Widodo arrived at court without a signed legal authority from the president.
The convicted drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are among prisoners from several countries that Indonesia wants to execute.
As the legal appeals continue, a delegation of Australian Islamic leaders is in Jakarta making the case for clemency.
Greg Dyett reports.
The Grand Mufti of Australia, Professor Ibrahim Abu Mohamed has travelled to Indonesia with three other Islamic clerics.
He released a statement after meeting with Indonesia’s Minister for Religious Affairs.
“We as Islamic leaders, respect the position of the Indonesian Government in its firm pursuit of the drug scourge in Indonesia. We offer no criticism of the justice system in recent cases. However, we note that mercy and forgiveness lies at the heart of Islam for those who repent and have reformed their ways. We urge that the heritage of mercy in our religion is fully and deeply considered in the application of State Law.”
The Grand Mufti has stressed the Islamic delegation’s visit to Indonesia is independent of the Australian government.
“On behalf of the Islamic community of Australia, we plead, with respect and humility, for mercy for the lives of two young Australian men, who have not only shown repentance for their serious crimes, but have rehabilitated themselves and indeed others.”
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is also in Jakarta.
He told the ABC the Grand Mufti made a dignified and impassioned speech to the local media.
“I’m here in Jakarta to talk to as many people as I can to plead for mercy for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran. As is the view of the entire Australian parliament. The Grand Mufti’s delegation in Jakarta can only do good for these two young Australians condemned on death row. He gave a dignified, impassioned statement to the Indonesia media which I hope will cause those Indonesians in favour of executing these two young Australians pause for thought.”
Amid efforts to achieve a deal to save the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has written to her Australian counterpart Julie Bishop ruling out a prisoner swap.
Asked if Indonesia had stopped listening to Australia’s pleas, Julie Bishop denied Australia has been lecturing the Indonesians.
“Well we’re not telling it what to do. We are asking in the most respectful way at President Widodo show the same mercy and forgiveness and humanity to two Australians on death row as the Indonesian authorities ask of other countries who have Indonesian citizens on death row. We’re not asking for anything more than Indonesia asks and receives from other countries.”
Julie Bishop says Australia will continue to do whatever it can to try to convince the Indonesian president to reconsider.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten says the government has Labor’s full backing.
“I do support the government doing whatever it can to prevent this absolutely needless execution going ahead.”