Second clemency plea for death row Indonesian Catholics

The families of three Indonesian Catholics sentenced to death for their alleged role in sectarian violence in 2000 have appealed to the country's president for clemency.

AsiaNews.it reports that the families of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus "Domi" da Silva and Marinus Riwu handed the letter of appeal for clemency to a presidential spokesperson through their lawyers.

Stephen Roy Rening, who coordinates the three men's defence team, issued a statement at a press conference in Jakarta, explaining the basis for their request of clemency. He said that "some witnesses have come forward with new, important developments."

"At least nine eyewitnesses have testified before a court in Palu last 9 March that Mr Tibo was not present at the location where Muslims were killed," Mr Rening said.

He said that the claim that "Mr Tibo led an army of 700 Christians against Poso Muslims on May 14, 2000, is 100 per cent false."

According to the lawyers, five witnesses have provided an alibi for Tibo, refuting the charge that Tibo was a member of a Christian militia group.

The appeal is the second request of its kind. The first unsuccessful appeal was made in April last year.

The case of the three death row prisoners has attracted support from Christian, human rights and legal aid groups. More than 500 people attended last week a demonstration in Jakarta calling for the sentence to be overturned.

Second clemency request for Catholics sentenced to death over Poso violence (AsiaNews.it 27/3/06)

Pope sends envoy to death row Indonesians (CathNews 22/3/06)
Indonesian bishop concerned about resurgence of violence in Poso (CathNews 16/8/02)

Benedict XVI Praying for 3 Condemned to Death (Zenit 20/3/06)

28 Mar 2006