Australian death-row drug trafficker Andrew Chan marries pastor girlfriend he met in jail

CILACAP, Indonesia (AFP, Reuters) - Australian death-row drug trafficker Andrew Chan married his girlfriend Monday on the Indonesian prison island where he is being kept amid a diplomatic tussle over his fate, his brother said, urging the country's president to show compassion to the newlyweds.

The vows took place as it emerged that Indonesia's Constitutional Court had agreed to consider a last-ditch legal challenge brought by Chan and his fellow Australian death-row convict, Myuran Sukumaran. A lawyer representing the pair said on Monday the hearing was scheduled to be held on May 12.

However, the Indonesia Attorney General’s Office said late on Monday the two Australians will still be executed this week. The timing of the execution will be announced on Tuesday morning.

Chan, 31, married his Indonesian girlfriend Febyanti Herewila in a ceremony on Nusakambangan Island, home to several high-security prisons, his brother Michael said.

"We've had a special day today," Michael Chan said as he announced the marriage after returning from a visit to Nusakambangan. "We've celebrated with some family and close friends.

"Hopefully the president will show some compassion, some mercy, so these two young people can carry on with their lives.

"It's in the president's hands."

Chan met his wife several years ago when Herewila, a pastor, began helping inmates in the jail where the Australian was imprisoned.

Chan and Sukumaran, are ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin-smuggling gang and were sentenced to death in 2006. Indonesian authorities served them with formal notice of their executions at the weekend, along with those of six other foreign and one Indonesian death-row inmates.

Australia has mounted a diplomatic campaign to save the pair but President Joko Widodo has vowed there will be no clemency for drug traffickers on death row in Indonesia. He says the country faces an emergency due to rising narcotics use.

Febyanti and other family members will no longer be able to visit Chan starting from Tuesday afternoon, hours before his expected execution.