Sun, 05 May 2013 05:00:00 GMT | By AFP

Australians on Indonesia death row plead for lives

Indonesia has stiff penalties for drug trafficking, including life imprisonment and death


Australians on Indonesia death row plead for lives (© Reuters)

Sydney: Two Australian drug smugglers on death row in Indonesia have made a desperate plea for their lives, insisting they are reformed characters and deserve a second chance. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, part of the "Bali Nine", were convicted and sentenced to death for their role in an attempt to smuggle eight kilograms (18 pounds) of heroin into Australia from the resort island in 2005. The rest are serving lengthy sentences, including life terms. Both men have lost their final appeals, with their fate now in the hands of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who can grant clemency.

But with Indonesia in February announcing it planned to put to death some convicts for murder and drugs offences in 2013 after not carrying out an execution for several years, concerns about their fate are growing. Sukumaran and Chan told Sydney's Sunday Telegraph newspaper they were having nightmares involving being shot dead by a firing squad.

"That scenario, being lined up, having a thing tied over your face and seeing these people in front of you with guns. That is the image that comes to my mind," said Sukumaran, 32. He said execution would end their lives just when they were achieving good for others, pointing to their part in running computing, English, and art workshops for prisoners in Kerobokan jail.

"We are sorry for what we did. We were young and stupid. I would ask, please forgive us and give us a second chance, a chance to make up for what we have done," he said. "I want to become a better person and I want to help everybody else become a better person as well."

Chan also said he was a changed man. "Sincerely I am sorry for the crime that I did commit and I apologise to the Australian public for that," he said. Indonesia has stiff penalties for drug trafficking, including life imprisonment and death. There is no time frame for Yudhoyono to grant clemency.

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