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Taiwan respects Indonesia's death sentences for 3 Taiwanese

Taiwan respects Indonesia's death sentences for 3 Taiwanese

The Ministry of Justice said Monday that it respects the Indonesian judiciary's death sentences on three Taiwanese drug traffickers, but will see if there are any steps that can be taken to ensure that their rights and interests are protected.

Vice Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) made the remarks after the Supreme Court of Indonesia last week sentenced Luo Chih-chen, Chen Jia-wei and Wang An-kang to death for attempting to bring in more than two kilograms of amphetamine through Jakarta International Airport in 2014, the first overseas capital sentences for Taiwanese in recent years.

The court's spokesman, Suhadi, told CNA that the sentences are a legal issue that is not related in any way to bilateral relations.

In November 2015, the Attorney General Office of Indonesia demanded the death penalty for 50 drug traffickers, including the three Taiwanese, a request that was granted by the local court but commuted to life imprisonment by the high court.

Chang Liang-jen (張良任) , Taiwan's top representative in Indonesia, said his staff had informed the family members of the fate of the three convicts, promising to render any assistance to them.

Indonesia has stepped up its crackdown on criminal rings involved in drug trafficking and cross-border telecom fraud, Chang said, advising Taiwanese nationals not to try their luck when attempting to break Indonesian law.

Currently, more than 30 Taiwanese involved in drug trafficking are incarcerated in Indonesia. The longest-serving three were given life sentences in 2013.

(By Jay Chou, Lilian Wu and S.C. Chang)