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Jakarta Post

Pakistan to move forward with efforts to save Zulfiqar Ali

  • Liza Yosephine
    Liza Yosephine

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 29, 2016   /  06:29 pm
Pakistan to move forward with efforts to save Zulfiqar Ali Humaira Bibi, sister of drug convict Zulfikar Ali, cries while holding a picture of her brother in Lahore, Pakistan, on Wednesday. She has appealed to the Indonesian government to spare the life of her ailing brother. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Pakistan confirmed on Friday that its citizen Zulfiqar Ali had not been executed and stated its readiness to formulate a new strategy to prove Ali's innocence, insisting that the Indonesian judicial system had handed him an unfair sentence.

"This is what we wanted, for the execution to be delayed pending the review," Pakistani Ambassador to Indonesia Aqil Naseem told The Jakarta Post, noting the success of efforts made by the government.

Naseem said he had spoken to Ali on Friday morning upon hearing about the stay of execution. The ambassador said he was informed by an official from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, who has been temporarily stationed near Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, and was responsible for communicating with foreign missions whose citizens are on death row. 

Naseem noted that the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) had not clarified whether Ali's execution had simply been delayed or that his case would be reviewed. Ali is still being held in a prison on Nusakambangan, he added.  

Citing a statement from junior prosecutor for general crimes Noor Rochmad, who said the decision not to execute Ali was made after a thorough assessment, Naseem said he assumed the statement implied that shortcomings may have been found in the case. 

"Even in a perfect judicial system, some mistakes can still be made," he said, while insisting that Ali had received an unfair trial. Following an official notification from the AGO, Naseem stressed that the embassy would immediately contact Ali's lawyer, consult legal experts and formulate the next steps in relation to the case.

Indonesia executed four drug convicts in the early hours of Friday, a last-minute change after previously confirming that 14 convicts, including a number of foreign citizens, would face the firing squad. The embassy had earlier said that Ali was among those to be put to death. (dan)

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