Firing squads inhumane, Bali bombers' lawyer says
Thursday, 31 July 2008

JAKARTA, Tue Jul 29, (bdnews24.com/Reuters) - Lawyers for three Islamic militants on death row for the 2002 Bali bombings said on Tuesday they will seek a judicial review of Indonesia's method of executing convicts by firing squad.

Mahendradatta, a lawyer for the three men -- Amrozi, his brother Mukhlas, also known as Ali Ghufron, and Imam Samudra -- said Indonesia should use a more humane method such as lethal injection.

A Bali court sentenced the three to death in 2003 for their roles in the nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, but their lawyers have since used a number of legal avenues that have delayed the executions.

"That procedure contains elements of torture. If you shot the convict once and he didn't immediately die, the commander must shoot him at point blank in the head," Mahendradatta said.

"Amrozi and the other two were given death sentences, not torture (for punishment)," he told a news conference.

The Attorney General's office said earlier this month the three men could be executed before the start of the Muslim fasting month in September after exhausting all legal options.

Mahendradatta said the defence team would lodge a judicial review over the method of execution in the Constitutional Court next week.

The new legal attempt would not delay the execution, said Bonaventura Daulat Nainggolan, a spokesman for the Attorney General's office.

"As long as there is no decision by the Constitutional Court, then the law (for execution procedure) has legitimacy," he said.

The three lost their final appeal early this month and the Attorney General's office said it holds documents from families and the bombers that waive their legal right to ask for a presidential pardon.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, does not make public the timing and exact location of executions.

Bali prosecutors last week visited the execution site on Nusakambangan island, the prison island in Central Java that houses the three.

Indonesian police said they had prepared the firing squad for the execution.

Some fear that executing the Bali bombers could exacerbate militant anger in the predominantly Muslim country of about 226 million people, but several analysts have dismissed such fears, saying most Indonesians respect the supremacy of the law and do not support the violent methods of the Bali bombers.

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