Wife of Aussie death-row convict Andrew Chan says he's one of the 'strongest, kindest' people

THE wife of death-row drug convict and "Bali Nine" ringleader Andrew Chan, 31, who is due to be executed for drug trafficking within the next few days, is a pastor who was helping inmates in Kerobokan jail, where Chan was imprisoned.

The couple became friends in 2012, and their friendship blossomed into a romance last year, reported The Australian.

When Indonesian President Joko Widodo rejected Chan's and fellow Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumaran's bid for clemency in January, the bond between Chan and Ms Febyanti Herewila, affectionately known as "Feby", only became stronger.

The Indonesian has been by Chan's side ever since.

Chan proposed shortly after the clemency bid was rejected, and Feby accepted immediately, reported The Australian.

On Valentine's Day, Chan presented Feby with a bouquet of red roses and a teddy bear. Both also talked openly about their plans to have children.

Feby, who proudly showed off her engagement ring outside the gates of Kerobokan jail in March, said to News Corp Australia at the time: "Andrew is one of the strongest, kindest people I have ever met.

"I have never seen him as just a prisoner or someone who is on death row. If you ask me why do I love him, it's because he also has weaknesses as well but he also has a lot of good things about him."

And Feby has said that she was not with Chan due to mercy. "I love him as he is. And I saw what he did for other people, which made me love him even more," she said, as quoted by Indonesian web portal jpnn.com.

However, Feby has admitted that her new husband does have his faults, but says that there are many good things about him too.

"I am also proud of him," jpnn.com quoted her as saying.

On Monday, the unlikely union was sealed when the couple wed on Indonesia's "execution island" of Nusakambangan Island, said Chan's brother Michael. The ceremony was conducted by Pastor Samuel of Gereja Bethel Church of Indonesia from Cilacap, according to The Australian.

It was witnessed by Chan's parents Ken and Helen, and his three siblings.

Chan's brother Michael said he was surprised and proud of his brother's decision to marry his girl friend. "I was surprised as well as happy because my brother had a chance to marry his girlfriend," Bahasa language portal Kompas.com reported Mr Michael Chan as saying.

"We've had a special day today," Mr Chan said as he announced the marriage on Monday. "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."

With input from Reuters and Agence France-Presse

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