Indonesia may execute three Bali bombers Saturday night - lawyer

Other News Materials 8 November 2008 18:27 (UTC +04:00)

Three Indonesian Muslim militants sitting on death row for the 2002 Bali bombings may face execution by firing squad Saturday night or early Sunday, the condemned mens' lawyer said Saturday.

"Most possibly, the execution will be carried out tonight or at dawn," Mahendradatta, chairman of the team of attorneys for the three men, was quoted as saying by detik.com online news service on Saturday.

The three men facing execution are Imam Samudra and a pair of brothers: Amrozi, known also as the "smiling assassin"; and his brother Mukhlas, alias Ali Ghufron. Each will face a firing squad for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, mostly foreign visitors, dpa reported.

Indonesia does not announce the specific date or time of executions, but the attorney general's office has said the three condemned men would be executed in early November.

Indonesian prosecutors and police on Friday notified the families of the three men. They conveyed letters from the attorney general's office and asked about the family's readiness for the execution, a sign the execution is imminent.

Another sign that the execution is getting closer was the arrival of Ali Fauzi, the brother of Amrozi and Mukhlas, at Nusakambangan island, off the southern coast of central Java, on late Saturday afternoon.

The state-run Antara news agency reported that Fauzi came to Nusakambangan to take care of his brothers' bodies after execution, a process which involves bathing and shrouding the bodies. Authorities had said families would only be allowed to bury the men once the bodies were flown to their home villages.

Security has been tight across Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, over the past week in the run-up to the expected executions. Authorities have received death threats against the president and other high-ranking government officials. There have also been bomb threats against the US and Australian embassies.

Muslim militants have protested in a variety of locations across Indonesia, including Jakarta and the East Javan home village of Amrozi and Mukhlas. Protesters have called for jihad and made threats against the Indonesian government. They carried banners pledging to follow the bombers' path of jihad, or holy war, and warning that "hell" awaits the executioners.

The three have been on death row since 2003, when a Bali court sentenced them to death for their roles in the nightclub bombings. None of the bombers have expressed any remorse for the attacks.

Indonesia usually executes convicts by firing squad in undisclosed locations in the middle of the night. The prisoners are told at least three days in advance but there is no obligation to tell the families.