NEW: Brazil extends 'deepest sympathy' to family of executed Brazilian
Indonesia executed eight death row inmates early Wednesday
Australian PM calls executions "cruel and unnecessary"
Australia has recalled its ambassador to Indonesia for consultations after two Australians were among eight drug smugglers executed by firing squad early Wednesday.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the executions “cruel and unnecessary” because both men, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, had been “fully rehabilitated” during a decade in prison.
Abbott didn’t say what permanent actions, if any, would be taken against Indonesia. “This is a dark moment in the relationship, but I’m sure the relationship will be restored,” he said.
One of the men’s Indonesian lawyers, Todung Mulya Lubis tweeted his apologies. “I failed. I lost,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo appeared to shrug off the diplomatic recall, telling reporters that “our legal sovereignty must be respected. We also respect other countries’ legal sovereignty.”
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the country had no plans to recall its own ambassador in response. “This is a legal case. This is not a political case so at this very stage, we do not have any plan to call our ambassador back from Canberra,” he said.
Six other inmates were executed, including Nigerians Raheem Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudil Oyatanze and Martin Anderson; Indonesian Zainal Abidin and Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, who was said to be mentally ill.
On Wednesday, Brazil’s foreign ministry released a statement expressing “deep sadness” at Gularte’s execution, saying that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had urged her Indonesian counterpart to spare him due to his “psychiatric condition.”
Gularte is the second Brazilian to be executed in Indonesia this year, with the first – Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira – prompting the country to recall its ambassador for consultations.
The Indonesian government had originally announced that nine prisoners would be executed, but at the last moment Filipina Mary Jane Veloso was spared.
“We are so happy, so happy. I thought I had lost my daughter already but God is so good. Thank you to everyone who helped us,” her mother Celia Veloso told CNN.
Philippines embassy officials said Veloso would be returned to Yogyakarta prison in Central Java later on Wednesday.
No reason was given for the reprieve but it may relate to developments in her case late on Tuesday. CNN Philippines reported that Veloso’s alleged recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio and her partner Julius Lacanilao, surrendered to authorities. The report said Sergio had denied all accusations in relation to Veloso’s case.
Veloso’s lawyers claimed the mother-of-two was the victim of human trafficking. They say she was offered work in Malaysia, but when she arrived she was told the job had been filled and wasn’t aware the bag she’d been given for the return journey to Indonesia was filled with drugs.
A tenth prisoner, Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, was also scheduled to be executed but his case was delayed while a court considers a legal challenge.
No reprieve for Australians
Candlelight vigils were held for Chan and Sukumaran in the hours ahead of the expected execution. The men’s legal teams had been fighting for years for a stay, but it wasn’t to be.
The men – then aged in their early twenties – were arrested in 2005 as part of the “Bali Nine,” a drug smuggling gang that intended to import 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of heroin from Bali to Australia. They failed.