Chan, Sukumaran families brace for end

Cilacap [AAP]

The Chan and Sukumaran families are preparing to say their final goodbyes to their sons and brothers, before Indonesia carries out the ultimate punishment for a decade-old crime.

Indonesia’s Attorney-General HM Prasetyo won’t confirm what time the Australians and seven others will go to the firing squad.

But it’s understood the families have been told to say their last goodbyes by 2pm on Tuesday (5pm AEST) before the executions are carried out on Nusakambangan island, Central Java, after midnight.

Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 34, have markedly changed since their Bali Nine plot to smuggle heroin from Indonesia was foiled in 2005.

But pleas to spare the men – Chan now a pastor and Sukumaran a talented artist – continue to fall on deaf ears.

On Monday, an ex-lawyer for the pair detailed sensational bribery claims, alleging judges in their original trial wanted more than $130,000 for a lighter sentence.

Their current lawyers say it’s unthinkable for the men to be executed under the cloud of corruption.

They also have a challenge in the constitutional court set for a preliminary hearing next month, but its decision will not be retrospective.

The only man they need to convince, President Joko Widodo, was not receptive on Monday.

‘Why not convey it at the time, when it actually happened if … it truly happened, right?’ he said of the bribery claims.

Security has tightened at the port town of Cilacap and the coffins have been prepared for nine prisoners’ bodies.

But one of the Australians’ lawyers, Michael O’Connell SC, says the momentum can be easily stopped.

‘Whilst it’s very frightening to see the machinery of execution being put into place, it’s worth remembering that stopping this is really just the stroke of a pen away,’ he told ABC’s Lateline program.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she also hasn’t finished fighting for the men.

‘Indonesia has accomplished what penal systems around the world aspire to do and that is rehabilitate drug offenders,’ she said in a speech in Sydney on Monday night.

‘I’m not asking the Indonesian government to do anything other than it asks other countries in relation to Indonesian citizens.’

Sukumaran has spent his last days painting, with the latest work, ‘The Second Last Day’ a self-portrait of him looking skyward.

In a bittersweet day for the Chans, Andrew Chan married his fiancee Feby Herewila on Monday, in a small prison ceremony officiated by Salvation Army minister Dave Soper.

Chan has also chosen him as his companion as he goes to his death, while Sukumaran will have his friend Reverend Christie Buckingham for solace.

They will be placed in isolation in the hours before they are taken to a firing ground, where their hands will be bound to a post and they will be given the option of standing, sitting or kneeling before the firing squad.

Bribe claim should’ve come up before: Joko

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has questioned why bribery claims around the death sentences of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are only being aired hours before their executions are due.

‘Things like this should have been conveyed years ago. That’s my answer,’ he told reporters in Jakarta on Monday.

Lawyers for the Bali Nine pair argue the executions should be halted for a probe into allegations by their former lawyer that judges wanted more than $130,000 for a sentence lesser than death.

Mr Joko is under pressure from governments and rights groups globally to stay the executions of the Australians and seven others expected after midnight on Tuesday.

He rejected their appeals for clemency because they were sentenced for drug crimes.

The judicial commission has pledged to investigate the bribe claims in the case of Chan and Sukumaran, but ultimately their lives depend on a change of heart by Mr Joko.

‘Why not convey it at that time, when it actually happened if … it truly happened, right?’ he said.

Mr Joko was returning from an ASEAN meeting in Malaysia where Philippine President Benigno Aquino sought clemency for his death row citizen Mary Jane Veloso.

Mr Joko said he would call the attorney-general before giving a response to the president over the phone or via the foreign minister.

‘Wait for this afternoon,’ he said.

Attorney General HM Prasetyo told reporters the Bali Nine bribe claims had no impact on the executions.

‘All processes have passed, from the district court appeal to the Supreme Court appeal,’ he said, as quoted by Indonesian website

‘Why in the last seconds has this just been conveyed?’

Mr Prasetyo wouldn’t confirm a time for the executions.

‘If you haven’t heard it from me, don’t say you’re sure the execution will be on Tuesday,’ he said.



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