01:13 GMT24 September 2020
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    Indonesia has reportedly put off the executions of two death row inmates as all eyes are on the search operation for the plane off the country's coast.

    MOSCOW, December 30 (Sputnik) — Indonesia has put off the executions of two Australian death row inmates as all eyes are on the search operation for the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 off the country's coast, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Tuesday.

    The Australian paper cited Indonesia's Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo as saying the postponement was due to a Supreme Court ruling that allowed for death row inmates to file for a review of their case more than once. Once the attorney general is notified about this request, the execution is stalled.

    But the Sydney Morning Herald indicated that the executions were to happen at a time when Indonesia found itself at the center of global attention following the disappearance of an AirAsia airliner above the Java Sea. The Airbus A320-200 was en route from Indonesia's East Java to Singapore when it vanished off radar on Sunday.

    Navy soldiers work on a map of Indonesia monitoring all Navy ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia involved in the joint search and rescue operation for AirAsia flight QZ8501 at a navy base on Batam island, December 29, 2014
    © REUTERS / Joko Sulistyo/Antara Foto
    Just two days before the air disaster, Indonesia's Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said that two leaders of an Australian drug smuggling ring were to face a firing squad. Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were among nine Australian nationals, the so-called Bali Nine, who were arrested in Bali in 2005 for trying to smuggle millions worth of heroin to Australia. Seven were later jailed for life, while the two ringleaders were put on death row and have since filed several appeals to overturn the death penalty.

    The Herald cited Sukumaran as saying he learned about being short-listed for execution by the turn of the year from press and filed another appeal for a last-ditch judicial review, slamming the brakes on the procedure again.

    Prasetyo lamented this development saying a "solution" had to be found to resolve the issue of multiple judicial reviews since they were prone to hold up Indonesia's ongoing anti-drugs struggle which he described as a drug "emergency".


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    QZ8501, death penalty, Indonesia
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