(AA) – An Indonesian court will announce Monday whether it will hear an appeal by two Australian death row inmates against President Joko Widodo’s refusal to grant them clemency, according to a judge Wednesday.
Judge Ujang Abdullah, who sits on a three-judge panel at the Jakarta Administrative Court, said the prosecution and defense “have been given ample opportunity to present evidence and testimony” in the cases of Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33.
“The judges will decide on the case after studying the evidence submitted,” national news agency Antara quoted him as saying.
The opportunity to present an appeal would be the final legal avenue available to Chan and Sukumaran, who have been moved to the Nusa Kambangan prison island where they and eight other drugs convicts are set to be executed.
Last month, the court dismissed a bid by the pair’s lawyers to present a challenge against the clemency refusal, saying it did not have the right to rule because granting clemency is a presidential prerogative.
The lawyers argue that Widodo’s blanket policy of refusal for clemency for drug offenders – Widodo has vowed “no mercy” for all 58 death row drug convicts – failed in his duty to consider the clemency applications on their individual merits, including their well-documented rehabilitation.
On Monday, they presented an expert witness who said the act of refusing clemency was an administrative process that could be challenged.
Dr. Otong Rosadi, dean of Law from Ekasakti University, told the court that judges do have the right to rule on the president’s decision following a constitutional amendment 15 years ago which states that public policies can be challenged in court.
Chan and Sukumaran have been on death row for 10 years after being convicted for their role as ringleaders in a plot to smuggle heroin into Australia.
They were due to face a firing squad last month, but Indonesia has put the executions on hold until their legal appeals, and those of the eight other inmates sentenced to die alongside them, are exhausted.
Of them, Frenchman Serge Areski Atlaoui and Ghanaian Martin Anderson have filed appeals against their sentences in the Supreme Court, which rejected last week a petition by Filipina Mary Jane Viesta Veloso for a judicial review of her case.