"Not repentant and never will,” say three Bali bombers whose execution is near
by Mathias Hariyadi
The three undergo medical check-up today. On the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack controversy is brewing over the execution delay. The three bombers continue to say they are “God’s instrument.” Public opinion wonders why all the delay compared to non Muslim convicts who have been quickly executed.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – On the sixth anniversary of the Bali bombing that killed 202 people on 12 October 2002, the relatives of the victims (mostly foreigners) and Indonesian public opinion are wondering when the three men sentenced for the crime will be executed. They are Amrozi (see photo after the death sentence was pronounced), Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron. According to unconfirmed reports the three men underwent a medical check-up, a preliminary stage before they go before a firing squad.

Buyung Nasution SH, a well-known lawyer and legal adviser to the president, said that the Attorney General’s Office has no legal grounds to further delay the execution after the last legal manoeuvre by the three convicts was rejected. As Muslims they asked to be beheaded as recommended by Islamic law rather than by a firing squad.

“Foreign diplomats often ask me why Indonesia is so slow in carrying out the sentence,” Buyung said. “Why non Muslim convicts (like Christians Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu) were quickly executed even when they were still filing appeals?”

By contrast, the Bali three’s last recourse was rejected in September 2007 and since then the only step remaining is execution.

For Bantarto Bandoro, a political expert at the University of Indonesia, the government might be delaying the execution to curry favour with voters ahead of the 2009 elections. Extremist political circles are in fact hoping that the passage of time might play in favour of the convicted terrorists with public opinion.

However, last week many Indonesians were incensed by arrogant statements made by Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron who said they were “not repentant and never will. . . . The Bali attack was necessary. Their destiny [to be killed because of the attack] has been decided from above (God).”

Parallel to this Amrozi said that his supporters and friends will immediately avenge his execution with an attack in Indonesia.

Police Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri is taking such threats seriously. He said that security forces will go on maximum alert as soon as the execution preparations get underway.

Indonesia’s Attorney General Hendarman Supandji said he delayed the execution until after the holy month of Ramadan which ended on 30 September. He explained that the execution will be carried out before the end of the year but did not specify the date.

Press sources have reported that Amrozi is set to meet his family, which might indicate that the execution is near.

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