[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jul 26 23:47:13 CDT 2004
New law unlikely to affect Bali bombers
Indonesia is likely to proceed with the execution of 3 men convicted for
the Bali bombings in 2002 and continue holding 30 others serving lesser
sentences in spite of a ruling that implied their convictions under a new
terrorism law were unconstitutional.
Jimly Asshiddiqie, the chief justice of Indonesia's new constitutional
court, held a rare briefing for foreign journalists yesterday to make it
clear the ruling would not affect the cases of the Bali bombers.
The constitutional court on Friday threw out a law that had allowed an
anti-terrorism statute introduced after the bombings in 2002 - in which
202 people were killed - to be applied retrospectively so it could be
applied to the bombers.
But the chief justice said Friday's ruling could itself not be applied
retrospectively under the law establishing the court. He said that meant
cases still awaiting appeals may be affected but those of individuals
whose avenues of appeal had been exhausted would not. All the cases
"decided when the law was valid are still valid", he said.
Of the 33 people convicted for the Bali bombings, 28 have already had
their routes of appeal exhausted.
A senior judicial official argued that in special cases, judges would
still be able to allow the use of the new terrorism laws on crimes
committed before its introduction, as long as standard criminal laws were
That could affect future prosecutions including that of Abu Bakar Bashir,
the detained radical cleric accused of leading Jemaah Islamiah, the
al-Qaeda-linked group blamed for the Bali bombings. Police have said they
plan to charge him under the terrorism laws.
A lawyer for the Bali suspects, Wirawan Adnan, said the question of
whether the court's decision applies to individual cases may have to be
decided by the country's supreme court. But he also said chances of
successfully challenging convictions now appeared "slim".
Separately, former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono topped the 1st round
of Indonesia's 1st direct presidential election and faces incumbent
Megawati Sukarnoputri in a September 20 run-off, election officials said
yesterday, Reuters reports from Jakarta.
The results of the July 5 poll were delayed by several hours after a blast
in the election commission offices briefly halted final counting. Nobody
Mr Yudhoyono won 33.6 % of the 1st round vote. Mrs Megawati came 2nd with
With no candidate gaining more than 50 % of the vote, a run-off between
the top 2 is required. Former armed-forces chief Wiranto came 3rd with
22.15 % and had threatened earlier to challenge the count, citing
(source: The Financial Times)
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