Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran could be executed as soon as next week, as diplomats from the Australian embassy have been summoned to an ominous meeting to take place on the prison island of Nusa Kambangan tomorrow.
It will be a blight on Indonesia’s justice system if these two men are shot dead while significant questions remain about their original trial.
Back in February, Chan and Sukumaran’s former lawyer, Mohamad Rifan, made a somewhat cryptic allegation that he had “never-revealed evidence” about that trial.
“It’s something that implicates us, it could discredit me. But for them I will take it,” he told reporters outside Kerobokan prison in an impromptu doorstop at the time.
As it turns out, Rifan’s allegations are extraordinarily serious. He claims the sentencing judges in the case received an order from a senior Indonesian politician to sentence Chan and Sukumaran to death.
Rifan told reporters that the judges wanted to sentence the men to life imprisonment — but that there had been an “intervention”. “The judges came to me after the sentencing and said the death penalty was not what they wanted,” he said.
These serious allegations about political interference by someone very close to the case are now before a judicial commission. It would be an outrage to proceed with the execution if the commission finds that the original sentence — the basis of all subsequent actions — was corrupted. At the very least, the allegations are grounds for a retrial.