Bali bombers launch fresh appeal

Other News Materials 6 August 2008 17:48 (UTC +04:00)

Lawyers for three men sentenced to death for bomb attacks in Bali in 2002 have appealed against their sentence at Indonesia's constitutional court, BBC reported.

The appeal comes after three separate requests for a judicial review failed to overturn their convictions.

The men - Amrozi, Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudra - are due to be executed for planning and coordinating attacks on nightclubs on Bali.

Two hundred and two people died in the bombings six years ago.

A senior member of the legal team said they were appealing against Indonesia's method of execution.

Shooting convicts in the chest, he said, was unconstitutional because it did not guarantee immediate death, and could thus be classified as torture, which is banned under the constitution.

He said his clients were appealing for the right to what they called a more humane execution - such as beheading or lethal injection.

This is a change of tack from the bombers' defence team.

Until now, they have argued that their clients' convictions themselves are illegal, because they were tried under a terrorism law that was created after the attacks.

That argument has not been upheld by the courts, and the attorney-general's office has said this latest appeal will not in itself delay the executions.

Indonesia's attorney-general said recently that everything was in place for the sentence to be carried out, and there have been signs recently that preparations are being made.

But senior officials privately say there is caution about the social and political impact of executing the men, and it is highly unlikely an execution will happen during the Muslim month of fasting which begins in four weeks' time.

The attacks in Bali six years ago killed more than 200 people, mostly foreign tourists. Its perpetrators are widely believed to be members of the regional Muslim extremist group, Jemaah Islamiah.