FULL TEXT: Indonesia on Sunday [Mar 20, 2005] executed a 51-year-old housewife found guilty of murdering and mutilating three women within four years. Astini, also known as Bu Lakri, was shot by a 12-member East Java Police firing squad at 1:20 a.m. local time, said A.F. Darmawan, chief of the special crime unit at the area’s High Prosecution Office. Astini’s lawyer, Ida Sampit Karo Karo, and a police doctor were among those present at the execution.
A district court convicted Astini in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, in 1996 - the same year the murders were discovered after the head of the third victim, Puji Astutik, was found in a river near Astutik’s house in Surabaya about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta. Astini’s first victim, Rahayu, was killed in 1992 and the second, Sri Astuti Wijaya, in 1993. Astini mutilated their bodies and dumped them in separate places.
Astini, who pleaded guilty to the murders, told the court she had been angry with the victims because they frequently came to her house collecting debts. Like many Indonesians, Astini goes by a single name. Her final attempt to avoid execution failed last year, when then-President Megawati Sukarnoputri turned down her appeal for clemency.
“The execution was carried out at 1:20 WIB (1820 GMT Saturday), but I cannot disclose the location of the execution,” Darmawan said on Sunday at a news conference. “The late Astini was shot by 12 members of firing squad of police, with only six of them using live bullets aimed at her heart from a distance of five meters (16 feet),” Darmawan said, adding that she was executed “in sitting position.” At Surabaya’s Dr. Sutomo Hospital where Astini’s body was taken for an autopsy. Relatives of the last victim, Astutik, said they had come to make sure Astini was dead.
“You’re dead, Astini! We are satisfied even though we have been waiting for nine years,” shouted Astutik’s brother, Agus Purwanto.
Indonesia routinely uses execution to punish murder and drug trafficking, and about 65 people are on now death row. Many come from other Asian countries or Africa, and have been sentenced to die for drug offenses. Astini’s execution was Indonesia’s fourth since August, when an Indian citizen, Ayodhay Prasad Chaubey, faced a firing squad for smuggling heroin into the country.
A month later, two Thai citizens - Saelow Praseart, a 58-year-old man, and Namsong Sirilak, a 32-year-old woman - were executed for similar offenses.
[“Indonesia executes 51-year-old woman for murder, mutilation,” The China Post, March 20, 2005]