04/18/2006, 00.00
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Catholics get second chance to appeal death sentence

by Benteng Reges

The Supreme Court has appointed a new group of judges to review the charges against Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu. The judges have said "execution should not be carried out while judgement is suspended: this would be a crime against humanity".

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia's Supreme Court, the Mahkamah Agung (MA), has given the green light to a second appeal for three death row Catholics. The court has called on the Attorney General not to carry out the execution while the review is under way.

The MA has appointed a panel of judges to evaluate the second appeal presented by the lawyers of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu, three Catholics condemned to death for their role in violence in Poso in 2000. "The judges chosen are different from those picked for the first review," said Judge Djoko Sarwoko, MA spokesman. The new judges are Timur P. Manurung, Harifin A Tumpa, and Paulus Effendy Lotulung, a Christian.

The spokesman said:  "The MA had no intention of granting a second revision of the case. However, seeing the national and international concern for the fate of the three convicts, it decided to approach the issue with caution. We must find a way of concluding the matter because as judges, we cannot simply avoid our duties."

These statements are entirely different from statements previously made by Judge Bagi Manan, president of the Supreme Court, who often described the sentence as "fixed". The MA today published a statement "suggesting" that the national AG office "listens to the public conscience in deciding the fate of the three condemned men" because theirs is a "case of humanity".

The judges stressed: "The execution should be suspended at least until the revision of the case is under way." Judge Sarwoko added: "Should the execution be carried out while the case is still under review, this would be a crime against humanity."

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See also
Execution of three Catholics postponed amid Jakarta rallies
Priest ready to die to save condemned Catholics
7,000 march and pray for death row Catholics
Card. Darmaatmadja: spare death row Catholics in the name of peace
Three death row Catholics still awaiting execution


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