‘No Zim national on death row in Indonesia’

Source: ‘No Zim national on death row in Indonesia’ | The Herald July 27, 2016

Reason Razao Herald Reporter—
Government has dismissed the Indonesian Attorney-General’s announcement that two unnamed Zimbabweans were to be executed in Indonesia. The Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there were no Zimbabwean citizens in line for execution in Indonesia. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed by our Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia that the Indonesian authorities announced in May 2016 that 15 convicts including two Zimbabweans would be executed. The two inmates identified as Zimbabweans in Indonesia are drug trafficking convicts,” said the ministry.

“We wish to set the record straight that contrary to the pronouncements by the Indonesian authorities that two of the 15 convicts awaiting execution were Zimbabweans, the Government has since established that they are in fact, Nigerian nationals.

“The two Nigerian nationals entered Indonesia masquerading as Ozias Sibanda and Fedrick Lutter and were arrested in 2001 and 2006 respectively for drug trafficking. Both were using Zimbabwean passports hence the incorrect categorisation of their nationalities.

“The Government believes that the passports were either fraudulently issued to the two or they were stolen/bought from their bona fide owners and the photographs swapped for those of the imposters,” said the Foreign Ministry.

The ministry added: “Our Embassy in Jakarta informed the ministry that the two convicts admitted that they were from Nigeria and confessed to have used Zimbabwean passports for ease of travel. The Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta has already verified that the two are indeed Nigerian nationals.”

This comes after reports by the Indonesian officials that they had foreign convicts charged with drug trafficking and were enlisted to be executed. Indonesian Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo was quoted saying: “Present inmates to be put to death are all drug offenders so they know we are really at war with drugs. We have foreigners among them from Nigeria and Zimbabwe.”

According to reports, the Indonesian authorities had claimed that they had 15 inmates: four Chinese, two Nigerians, two Senegalese, two Zimbabweans and five Indonesians. The ministry also warned members of the public against drug trafficking crimes saying Government will not intervene if one is caught on the wrong side of the law.