Yesterday, the most extraordinary news broke about Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran’s trial, but somehow it got buried among the morbid countdown to their likely death.
Earlier allegations about bribery and political interference in the original Bali Nine sentencing were widely picked up by the media after they broke yesterday morning.
But this story by Fairfax reporter Tom Allard got lost in the afternoon rush. It should have been front-page news this morning.
Allard’s central finding? That the current Indonesian Attorney-General, H.M Prasetyo, was a senior figure in the AG’s department when that very office allegedly demanded that a panel of judges hand down the death penalty to Chan and Sukumaran.
That is to say: Indonesia’s most senior legal officer potentially has a deeply concerning interest in the outcome of the Indonesian judicial commission’s ongoing investigation into these claims.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Prasetyo has decided that Chan and Sukumaran must die before the commission brings down its findings.
As Allard writes:
“Prasetyo has … said that the executions should take place before Indonesia’s judicial commission — which examines claims of judicial wrongdoing — completes its investigation into the claims. He says the investigation is irrelevant.”
In summary, two Australian citizens were allegedly handed the death penalty by a corrupt system as a result of political interference, but the claims will not be fully investigated before the men are shot dead by the very government that is implicated in these claims.
This is no longer a request for mercy or a debate about the death penalty. The Australian government must make clear to Indonesia that there will be the most far-reaching repercussions if these very serious claims are not investigated and if the executions go ahead as planned. There is still time.