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Indonesia defends death penalty against Australians
www.chinaview.cn 2006-02-15 15:06:35

    JAKARTA, Feb. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- Indonesia said Wednesday the death penalty rendered on two Australian drug mules was taken under the country's judiciary system that others must respect, stressing that the capital punishment is applicable to "serious crimes."

    "The verdicts on the Australian citizens are in conformity with the Indonesian judicial system and process, everyone must accept that," the Foreign Affairs Ministry's spokesman Yuri Thamrin was quoted by the semi-official Antara news agency as saying.

    "We are looking for the understanding of the Australian government that the capital punishment is imposed only for convicts in serious crimes, one of which is narcotics," he said.

    A district court in Bali on Tuesday sentenced Australian nationals Andrew Chan, 22, and Myuran Sukumaran, 24, for attempts to smuggle over 8 kg of heroin from the resort island to Australia.

    Australian Prime Minister John Howard had said his government would seek clemency for the two condemned inmates. The Australian law opposes death penalty.

    The two are the suspected leaders of a drug syndicate comprising nine Australians. The remaining members of the group have been sentenced to life jail terms in separate trials.

    The death sentences were the first issued by the Bali court in drug case. The court in 2003 handed death sentences to three militants convicted of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

    More than 25 foreigners are in death row in Indonesia for drug trafficking, mostly were convicted by the Tangerang District Courtnear Jakarta.

    The Indonesian firing squad has executed three foreigners in heroin case in the last few years. Enditem 

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