[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Feb 8 06:57:37 UTC 2007
RI workers on death row overseas
A total of 17 Indonesian migrant workers face death sentences in Malaysia
and Singapore for their involvement in murder and drug cases, and several
may soon be executed unless they appeal for acquittal or to have their
The outgoing director general for labor placement and protection at the
Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, I Gusti Made Arke, said Wednesday
that 15 of the workers had been convicted in Malaysia for marijuana
possession. He said the remaining two were sentenced in Singapore for
their involvement in murder cases.
In addition, sources at the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry said
Wednesday that 4 migrant workers had received death sentences in Saudi
Arabia for their involvement in murder cases.
Made Arke said the government had provided legal assistance and protection
for the 15 Indonesian workers in Malaysia, even though they had entered
the neighboring country illegally and were working there without proper
He said the government could not interfere in the internal affairs of the
Malaysian courts. Instead, it relied on the abilities of the lawyers hired
to accompany the defendants. Malaysia enforces harsh penalties in drug
Dozens of Indonesian migrant workers have been sentenced to death in drug
and murder cases in the past 7 years.
Made Arke also revealed that three other Indonesian workers previously
sentenced to death by a district court in Singapore had already had their
sentences commuted to 10 years, 20 years and a life sentence, after
successfully appealing to the Singaporean Supreme Court.
Malik Harahap, a former labor attache in Malaysia, said most of the
Indonesian workers facing the death sentence in Malaysia were Acehnese. He
said many Acehnese went to work there during the years of armed separatist
conflict in Aceh, and in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami
in December 2004.
Malaysian employers reportedly employed many Acehnese rebels for years,
before the central government signed a peace agreement with the Acehnese
separatist movement in Helsinki in August 2005.
Asked about 418 Indonesian workers stranded at the Indonesian Embassy in
Kuwait, Made Arke said only 173 were still sheltering at the embassy,
while the remaining 245 had been repatriated after their cases were
settled with their employers.
"The workers were employed as housemaids and fled their workplaces after
they were involved in disputes with their employers. The disputes were
triggered by the withholding of their monthly wages and the fact that many
workers had been mistreated by their employers or the employers'
relatives," he said.
(source: Jakarta Post)
Gang boss gets suspended death sentence, 60 jailed in Chinese crime
An organized crime boss was given a suspended death sentence and 60 other
members of 3 gangs have been jailed for up to 20 years in three separate
cases in Chinese courts.
A gang in Kaifeng City, central China's Henan Province, was found to have
used violence and threats to monopolize the sand quarrying business,
robbing staff and setting up illegal toll gates since 1999.
Sanmenxia Intermediate People's Court heard the gang's activities had
seriously affected the local economy and social stability.
Gang leader Yue Chongdong was sentenced to death with a 2-year reprieve
and 13 others were sentenced to prison for 4 to 20 years.
27 members of an organized crime ring had operated in Jinzhou City,
northeast China's Liaoning Province, since 1995, Tieling Intermediate
People's Court heard.
The gang collected more than 20 million yuan (2.56 million U.S. dollars)
by gambling, extorting and kidnapping and ransom demands, while bribing
local officials to seek protection.
Gang boss Dong Baojun was fined one million yuan and sentenced to 20 years
in prison, while the other members received jail terms from 12 months to
The 3rd gang of 21 members was sentenced at Tongling Intermediate People's
Court in Tongling City of east China's Anhui Province. Headed by a man
called Wu Duanzhi, they used force to obtain contracts to operate copper
mines since 1996, and assault with deadly weapons.
Wu was jailed for 20 years and fined 6 million yuan. The other 19 members
were sentenced from 10 months to 13 years.
China's law enforcement authorities had been taking a "firm hand" on
organized crime and would maintain the "high pressure" over such crime,
said a spokesman of the Supreme People's Court.
Grenada death sentences quashed by Privy Council
The death sentences of the 13 people convicted of the killing of former
Grenadian prime minister, Maurice Bishop, and some of his cabinet
colleagues were quashed by the Privy Council in London on Wednesday.
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the court of final appeal
for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies, and for those
Commonwealth countries, including Grenada, that have retained the appeal
to the Queen in Council. Five Law Lords normally sit to hear such appeals.
According to reports reaching Caribbean Net News, the Law Lords ordered
that the death sentences should be dropped and the 13 be re-sentenced.
This is good news for the appellants and their 5-member legal team, who
presented their arguments before the Privy Council in December last year,
saying that the death sentence was illegal.
The lawyers are expected to elaborate further on the matter at a press
conference to be held here on Thursday.
Last year, 3 members of the so-called Grenada 17 were released after
spending 20 years behind bars.
(source: Caribbean Net News)
Vietnam Sentences Woman To Death, Jails Officials In Land Fraud
A court in southern Vietnam has sentenced a woman to death and a local
government official to 25 years in prison for their roles in a land fraud
case, a court official said Wednesday.
Pham Thi Tuyet Lan was given a death sentence for her key role in the
ring, which purchased 10 hectares of farm land in Ho Chi Minh City's Go
Vap district and sold it to a realty company as residential land to profit
from price difference.
"They pocketed 16.6 billion dong [1 million dollars] from the illegal land
transaction in 2000," said Bui Hoang Danh, chief judge of the People's
Court of Ho Chi Minh City.
Tran Kim Long, the chairman of the district, was handed a sentence of 25
years in prison for corruption and power abuse, according to the judge.
"Long legitimized the transaction to get a commission of 540 million dong
[33,700 dollars]," Danh said.
5 other accomplices received prison sentences ranging from 5 to 22 years.
Land fraud is one of the most high-profile areas of corruption in Vietnam,
which is in the midst of its latest attempt to crack down on the graft
that threatens to tarnish the reputation of the ruling Communist Party.
In recent years, demonstrations by farmers who claim their land has been
seized by corrupt officials have become more common.
The National Assembly estimates that it receives 15,000-17,000 complaints
about land grabs each year, 60 % of complaints filed to the government
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