(AFP) – Jul 17, 2008
DENPASAR, Indonesia (AFP) — An Indonesian court threw out the three convicted Bali bombers' last appeals Thursday, bringing them one step closer to the firing squad, officials said.
Court officials said the bombers had already exhausted the appeals process and their latest and third petition, filed mid-May, was invalid.
"We received the decision of the Supreme Court yesterday. It basically says that there's no second or third judicial review," Denpasar district court head Nyoman Gede Wirya said, without elaborating.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the decision brought the executions of the three men closer, although he gave no indication of when the sentence would be carried out.
The three members of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terror network -- Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron -- were convicted in 2003 and are being held in an island prison off the south coast of Java.
The men remain defiantly unrepentant over their lead roles as plotters of the 2002 attack which killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists at bars and nightspots on Bali.
They have said they will not seek presidential clemencies and are looking forward to becoming martyrs.
But their lawyer said they would launch yet another legal challenge, this time against the death penalty itself.
"I'm shocked knowing that the Supreme Court took a decision that soon. It's never happened before," lawyer Fahmi Bachmid said.
"All of them have repeatedly said they will only ask pardon from God, not the president. This is their faith."
Officials said they could have a change of heart over seeking pardons.
"You can say that their executions are closer if they don't file any request for clemency to the president," attorney general office's spokesman Bonaventura Nainggolan told AFP.
"We know that they refused some time ago to ask for presidential pardon, but they can change their mind. They still have the right to do that."
It was unclear why it took more than two months for the courts to make a decision on the latest appeal after the Supreme Court had already ruled that their second appeal was the last.
Their lawyers argued that they were entitled to another review because the court had refused to allow them to appear in person during hearings for the second appeal, which the defendants withdrew voluntarily.
They also complain that expert witnesses for the defence were not able to give evidence at previous hearings.
No new evidence was presented in the latest petition, which was delivered to the court in a cover showing a photograph of the bombers' smiling faces.
Justice ministry official Bambang Winahyo said it was up to the attorney general to give the order for the execution.
"If they make a decision over the execution they must inform us. We're just waiting for an order from them," he said.
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