Brazilian had 'no idea' he was going before firing squad

Brazilian had 'no idea' he was going before firing squad
By Everton Gayle with REUTERS
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Rodrigo Gularte, who was executed in Indonesia was clueless about his fate until the final moments.

The Brazilian was lined up among seven others and shot shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning.

According to Father Charlie Burrows, a local priest who accompanied Gularte in his final hours, due to the 42-year-old’s mental illness, he did not know he was about to be killed.

“I thought I’d got him ready, that he was going to be put in chains, because he didn’t like being touched … I said to him, well I’m 72, when you get up to heaven you’ll know where I’m going to live, prepare a garden or something,” Burrows told ABC News reporters.

None of 8 people tied to stakes and shot to death on Monday should have been executed, but case of Rodrigo Gularte particularly disturbing.

— AmnestyUK Media Team (@NewsFromAmnesty) April 30, 2015

The priest said Gularte was calm as he was handcuffed by warders but became agitated when he was handed over to police outside the jail who put leg chains on him.

“I thought he’d got the message he was to be executed but … when the chains started to go on, he said to me, ‘Oh father, am I being executed?’,” Burrows said.

Gularte continued to hear voices in his final days telling him everything would be fine. “He believes the voices more than he does anybody else,” Burrows said.

He was caught entering Indonesia in 2004 with six kilograms of cocaine hidden in surf boards, and was sentenced to death in 2005.

The Brazilian ambassador had pleaded for him to be spared on the humanitarian grounds, due to his schizophrenia. His family presented several doctors’ reports to the Indonesian authorities attesting to his mental illness and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had made personal pleas on his behalf.

Burrows, pictured above, joined other spiritual advisers and family members in a tent near the field on the prison island of Nusakambangan where the executions took place. They heard the men singing before shots rang out simultaneously and were comforted that there were no subsequent single shots that would have indicated one of the prisoners needed to be shot in the head.

Burrows said they all eight refused blindfolds and were handcuffed at the front to allow them to shake hands with a large number of warders who had gathered outside.

They were declared dead by medical teams three minutes after being shot.

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