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Indonesian court rejects appeal of Filipina on death row


JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected an application by a Filipina on death row for a judicial review of her case, taking her a step closer to being executed along with several other foreign drug convicts. 

"We appreciate the Supreme Court for its decision to reject the judicial review of Mary Jane," Tony Spontana, the spokesperson of the Attorney General's Office, told Rappler in a text message. (READ: Indonesia to accelerate legal process for Filipina on death row

"This is in line with our expectation and understanding because her clemency request has already been rejected. She should not have any more legal remedies."

Veloso, a 30-year-old mother of two, as well as two high-profile Australian inmates and convicts from France, Brazil, Ghana and Nigeria are set to face the firing squad after they recently had requests for presidential clemency rejected.

In her application for a judicial review, Veloso's lawyers had argued that she was not provided with a capable translator during her first trial. 

But the Supreme Court's website said that judges on Wednesday, March 25, rejected Veloso's application for a review of her sentence. It did not provide details about the ruling and a court spokesman could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Veloso was caught at Yogyakarta airport, on the main island of Java, carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin on a flight from Malaysia.

Jakarta plans to execute all 10 of the convicts – 9 foreigners and one Indonesian – at the same time, but has said it will wait for any outstanding legal appeals to conclude.

Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, leaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug-smuggling gang, as well as Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, currently have appeals that are working their way through the courts. 

Chan and Sukumaran have lost two previous attempts to get judicial reviews of their cases, but their legal teams have lodged a further, rare appeal. 

Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, and President Joko Widodo has vowed there will be no clemency for traffickers on death row, as the country is facing an "emergency" due to rising narcotics use.

Jakarta put to death 6 drug convicts, including 5 foreigners, in January, sparking a diplomatic storm. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com