- Five Indonesian police officers arrested for drug possession as Bali Nine ringleader set to be shot ‘by the end of the month’
- Five Indonesian police officers have been arrested on drug charges
- One had over 7000 ecstasy pills and 700 grams of methamphetamines
- Myuran Sukumaran has revealed he will be executed by end of the month
- Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Australian government has raised case and that of Andrew Chan more than 50 times
- On Sunday six drug offenders were executed by firing squad in Indonesia
- They hailed from Indonesia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Malawi and Nigeria
- This gave Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran a look at what their fates could be
- Sukumaran’s lawyer will make a last-ditch effort to save his client from being executed
- Chan is still waiting to hear if his appeal for clemency will be granted
Just days after five men and a woman were executed for drug offences, Indonesian narcotics police confirmed that five officers have been arrested for drug possession.
One of the men now locked behind bars in the scandal is a member of a narcotics-busting unit – while another is a senior member of the National Police security and intelligence unit.
The extraordinary case comes in the wake of five foreign men and an Indonesian woman being gunned down by a firing squad in the early hours of Sunday after their final appeals for clemency were turned down.
The six drug traffickers were executed in the country just after midnight on Sunday, sparking diplomatic outrage from Brazil and The Netherlands which have now recalled their ambassadors.
Indonesia has announced that under new President Joko Widodo no mercy will be shown to those involved in the drug trade – an ominous warning for all prisoners on death row, including two Australian men and British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford.
Five Indonesian police officers (not pictured) have been arrested on drug charges just days after the execution of six drug traffickers on death row
One of the Australians, Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumaran, revealed to The Australian at the weekend he believed he was going to be executed ‘by the end of the month’.
‘Just yesterday I heard news that I’m going to be executed by the end of the month’, the 33-year-old told the paper from Kerobokan prison at the weekend.
Now commentators on social networks and on Indonesian newspaper comment pages are asking how senior police are going to handle the arrests of the officers allegedly involved in the drug trade.
Chief Brigadier Sudirman – a member of the West Jakarta Police’s narcotics unit who uses only one name, is said to have been arrested in a car in a hotel parking lot.
In the vehicle, it is alleged, were 7,457 ecstasy pills and more than 700 grams of methamphetamine.
In a statement to his fellow officers, Sudirman claimed the drugs belonged to a man identified only as A and insisted that he was only in charge of the sale.
Dutch citizen Ang Kiem Soei (left in 2003) along with Brazilian national Marco Moreira (right in 2004 in his holding cell) were both executed on Sunday morning just after midnight
Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumaran has revealed he will be executed by the end of this month
But commentators in the Jakarta Post comment page said that if found guilty the police should be given the same capital punishment as others sentenced to death.
Referring to Suidrman’s alleged claim of only being in charge of the sale, one writer said that was the same as being a drug trafficker ‘and anything less than an execution for them will be a clear sign of corruption and hypocrisy.’
He added: ‘This is just a small amount like (the amount) those just executed (for) and on top of that it’s these people who are supposed to be cleaning up the streets, not supplying them.’
Another writer, identified as Markus asked: ‘Will these policemen be given the death penalty as other drug carriers? Let’s see what Indonesia does here as the world will be watching this one very closely.’
Confirming the arrests of the officers, Jakarta Police spokesman Senior Commander Martinus Sitompul said the cases were ‘still under police investigation,’ the Jakarta Post reported.
Locals have expressed their outrage over the arrests of the officers (not pictured), saying they should face the same consequences as other offenders
The first arrest, last week, came when Jakarta Police’s narcotics division raided a house in the south of the city and arrested three officers from the South Jakarta police unit, along with a staff member from a private tv company.
The arrested police were identified as Second brigadier Nurhidayat, First Brigadier Susanto and Second Inspector Sikandar. The private individual was named as Heri Susanto.
At the house, it is alleged, the narcotics officers found two grams of methamphetamine, electronic scales and a glass pipe.
The following day the drugs team arrested Second Inspector Andri Agus Krismantoro, a member of the National Police security and intelligence unit. The result of the raid in South Jarkarta, it is alleged, was a total of 15 grams of methamphetamine in nine Ziploc bags, along with electronic scales and a bong.
Then came the arrest of Chief Brigadier Sideman of the narcotics unit as he was sitting in a car with thousands of ecstasy pills and hundreds of grams of methamphetamine.
This comes as the Australian federal government revealed has raised the cases of Sukumaran and fellow Australian ringleader Andrew Chan with Indonesia more than 50 times, according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (left) said there have been more than 50 meetings about Sukumaran and Andrew Chan (right) pushing for clemency for the Australian men
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (left) has faced criticism over his first round of executions as leader
Ms Bishop said there had been 50 to 55 meetings between Australia and Indonesia about the issue over the years.
‘Prime Minister Abbott and I have continued to raise the cases every time we meet with the senior leadership of the Indonesian government,’ she told Nine Network on Monday.
‘My personal view is that an execution of drug traffickers will not stop the problems of drugs in and out of Indonesia.’
The federal government has been pushing for Indonesia to grant a presidential clemency to Sukumaran and Chan.
However, clemency has been officially denied to Sukumaran and expected to be denied to Chan.
Ms Bishop said Australians found the death penalty abhorrent.
But she conceded Indonesia was an independent sovereign nation and its new government had campaigned on the platform that it would be tough on drug traffickers.
Sukumaran has developed a passion for painting and a close friendship with artist Ben Quilty while behind bars, confiding in his mentor that he can’t sleep for fear of the footsteps in the night which will spell the end of his life.
Sukumaran (left) has developed a passion for painting while behind bars under the mentorship of Australian artists Ben Quilty (right)
This is a self-portrait painted by the 33-year-old prisoner, who believes he will be executed this month
He has also painted many other people including fellow death row prisoner and Bali Nine ringleader Andrew Chan (pictured)
Painting presents a welcome reprieve for Sukumaran, and Quilty’s advice to his friend on how to spend what could be his final days was to keep doing what he loved.
Meantime, President Joko Widodo ordered his first round of executions in the early hours of Sunday, with four men and two women dying.
One woman, Rani Andriani, was from Indonesia while the rest hailed from Brazil, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Malawi and Nigeria.
Vietnamese woman Tran Thi Bich Hanh was executed in Boyolali district in central Java, while Andriani, Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, Dutchman Ang Kiem Soei, Nigerian Daniel Enemuo and Malawi’s Namaona Denis were put to death on Nusa Kambangan Island.
The island is home to a high-security prison located off the south coast of the archipelago’s main island of Java.
Wife of convicted drug smuggler Namaona Denis pictured here just before his execution on January 18
Dewo Retno Atik leaves the maximum security prison Nusa Kambangan in Cilacap in Central Java
All of the executed were caught attempting to smuggle drugs, except for Soei who was found guilty of operating a huge ecstasy-producing factory.
The executions of those who were handed their sentences between 2000 and 2001 were carried out just after midnight on Sunday, the ABC reported Indonesian attorney-general’s office spokesman Tony Spontana as saying.
Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, are expected to be executed this year, but the former is waiting to hear back from the court about whether or not he has been granted clemency.
The latter had his appeal rejected last month, 9News reported.
Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan (right) and Myuran Sukumaran (left) are scheduled for execution in 2015
A convoy of ambulances carrying coffins make their way to Nusa Kambangan prison at Wijayapura quay, Cilacap, Central Java
In a last-ditch effort to save his client from meeting the same fate as those executed on Sunday, Sukumaran’s Indonesia lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis told News Corp he would be submitting a request to Denpasar District Court for a case review next week.
This review, which is called a PK in the south-east Asian country, is usually granted when new evidence emerges.
Both Chan and Sukumaran have had previous PKs rejected before.
But it is not known if an appeal for a second review will even be allowed as there is no legislation surrounding the issue as of yet in Indonesia.
Ambulance transports the body of executed Dutchman Ang Kiem Soei from Nusa Kambangan prison
Police officers and security personnel stand guard as a ferry carrying ambulances sets off for Nusa Kambangan island where the executions of the five of six drug convicts were carried out
Mr Lubis said the law had been applied wrongly to the last review, which was denied by the Supreme Court.
The lawyer will argue Sukumaran, who has served 10 years in prison, is now reformed and has helped fellow prisoners also rehabilitate by setting up in-house jail programs.
‘If the purpose of any sentence is rehabilitation… those who have made a significant change in their life should be given relief. It doesn’t mean that he has to be freed because he has also admitted that he is guilty of a narcotic crime, Mr Lubis told News Corp.
‘However, there are many forms of punishment. A life sentence or 20 years prison term or 25 years prison term. There are many forms of other punishment. I just want to ensure that the perspective of justice should be at the forefront.’
An ambulance carrying the coffin containing the body of drug convict Malawian national Namaona Denis leaves from Nusa Kambangan island
The members of the Bali Nine were arrested in 2005 on charges of a plot to smuggle 8.2kg heroin into Australia
If the pair – who were caught trying to smuggle in 8.2kg of heroin from Indonesia to Australia in 2005 – are to be executed, Sunday would have given them a grim preview of what was to come for them.
Before the six convicted drug offenders faced the firing squad, made of 12 police officers, they were isolated in cells and were allowed last visits from family members and religious figures in the lead up to their deaths.
They were lined up and donned aprons that had reflectors attached on them over their hearts.
The six were shot dead all at the same time on Sunday.
Their executions have attracted widespread criticism from world leaders, including from Amnesty International, calling for Mr Widodo to scrap the death penalty.
The organization’s research director for south-east Asia and the Pacific, Rupert Abbott, called the executions ‘a seriously regressive move’.
Kerobokan prison in Denpasar is where Chan and Sukumaran are being held in Indonesia
A spokesman for Denpasar District Court displays a clemency presidential decree for Myuran Sukumaran
‘The new administration has taken office on the back of promises to make human rights a priority, but the execution of six people flies in the face of these commitments,’ Mr Abbott said in a statement.
‘This is a country that just a few years ago had taken positive steps to move away from the death penalty, but the authorities are now steering the country in the opposite direction.
‘The government must immediately halt plans to put more people to death.’
Mr Abbott urged Indonesia to ‘impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its eventual abolition’.
While the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called the plan ‘deeply regrettable’.
News of the looming executions has galvanized Australians seeking clemency for Chan and Sukumaran, with 2,500 signatures on a petition begging Indonesian president Joko Widodo for mercy on their behalf.