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Justice Too Long Denied

Attorney General Confirms Bali Bomber to Die in Early November.

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Indonesia's Attorney General announced on Friday, October 24, 2008, that the three Bali bombers – Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Mukhlas would "definitely" be brought before a firing squad and shot "at the beginning of November."

In making the announcement, the government said that the three found guilty in the murder of 202 people in the October 2002 bombing of a Bali nightspot had exhausted every course of legal appeal available to them and have refused to seek a pardon or reprieve from President Yudhoyono.

Meanwhile, the Government has asked that the international community maintain a "proportional reaction" to the process and decision to execute the three men. Teuku Faizasyah, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, told the press: "We can see that the Indonesian process of law as regards this case (i.e. Amrozi et al) has been both long and sufficiently transparent. We therefore hope that any international response to the decision to execute these men remains proportional."

Faizasyah insisted that the government of Indonesia has steadfastly not interfered in the legal proceedings against the Bali bombers, adding "everything has been done under the full authority of the appropriate legal agencies; the government has not interfered to either hasten or delay that process."

The Long Green Mile

Amrozi (47), Mukhlas (48) and Imam Samudra (38) were convicted and sentenced to death in 2003 for masterminding the October 12, 2002 bombing of two Bali nightspots.

While executions in Indonesia are typically performed within the jurisdiction of the original offense and subsequent trial, an administrative decision has been made to shoot the three in Central Java on the penal island of Nusakambangan where the three men were moved when angry crowds threatened to storm their cells at the Kerobokan Prison in Bali.

Executions in Indonesia are performed in a highly secretive fashion with confirmation of the prisoners' deaths provided to the press only after the fact. What is known, however, is that the accused's family are normally given two weeks formal notice prior to execution to facilitate farewell visits before the prisoners are removed to total isolation cells some three days before their execution. On the fated day the prisoners will be taken from their cells in the dark of night to an isolated beach or field, blindfolded and placed some 5-10 meters before a firing squad of 12 soldiers. Selected from weapons prepared in advance, only 3 of the 12 rifles will be loaded with live fire which will be discharged into the heart of the convict who is given the option of standing, kneeling or sitting before the firing squad.

Eye witness accounts from religious advisors attending past executions, report that death is seldom instantaneous, taking between 5 to 10 agonizing minutes while life ebbs following the fatal barrage of bullets. Tradition dictates that, when the suffering of the convict is considered to be too extreme, the commander of the firing squad may, at his option, accelerate death courtesy of his service revolver and the delivery a final bullet discharged to the temple of the condemned prisoner.

Related Stories

[Sukmawati's Straight Talk on the Bali Bombers]

[Tortured Howls of a Culled Cur]

[When Justice Speaks in Incomplete Sentences]

[Forgiving Them Their Trespasses]

[Bali Bombers: Out of Options, Out of Time]

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