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Indonesia Eexecutes Drug Smugglers By Firing Squad, Australia Recall Ambassador

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JAKARTA: 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.”

Six other men were put to death, including four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian.

The Indonesian government had announced that nine prisoners would be executed, but Filipina Mary Jane Veloso was spared, at least for now.

Her ecstatic mother Celia Veloso told CNN: “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.”

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 was filled with drugs.

The other inmates who were executed were Nigerians Raheem Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudil Oyatanze. Martin Anderson — who was initially identified as Ghanian — was actually Nigerian as well. Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte — who was said to be mentally ill — was also executed. The only Indonesian on the condemned list was Zainal Abidin.

Frenchman Serge Atlaoui’s execution has been delayed while a court considers a legal challenge.

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. – CNN

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