Family of death row prisoner appeal to Indonesia

The family of an Australian drug smuggler facing execution in Indonesia on Sunday pleaded with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to spare his life.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has already vowed to appeal for clemency for Andrew Chan, one of the so-called "Bali Nine" gang arrested in 2005 attempting to smuggle heroin to Australia from the resort island.

His brother Michael Chan made his own emotional appeal Sunday, saying his younger sibling had grown up during his years in jail.

"When he made his mistake he was a kid, he's grown into an adult in the last couple of years," he told a press conference in Sydney.

"Hopefully the president can see that change in him."

Chan said his Sydney-based parents were devastated to hear Friday that their son, who is 27, had lost his final appeal against his death sentence.

Asked whether he had a message for Yudhoyono, Michael Chan said: "If he's listening, give him (Andrew Chan) a second chance at life".

Michael Chan said he had spoken to his brother, who is currently studying theology, since the decision and said he was determined to try to be a better person "whether he's got a short time or a long time to go".

On Saturday, Prime Minister Gillard said Australia strongly opposed the death penalty and would try and have Chan's sentence commuted.

"I'll be happy to do whatever is necessary to put as much force as we can into the appeal for clemency for Andrew Chan, including personally involving myself," she said.

Chan was one of nine Australians convicted over their attempt to smuggle eight kilograms (18 pounds) of heroin into Australia from the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2005.

One other member of the gang, Myuran Sukumaran, is facing the firing squad but has an appeal pending. Another, Scott Rush, won an appeal against his death sentence last month and is now serving life in jail.

The six other gang members are also serving lengthy jail sentences.

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