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Bali Nine Brazilian Had No Idea He Was About To Be Killed, Asked 'Am I Being Executed?'

30/04/2015 11:29 BST | Updated 30/04/2015 20:59 BST

A Brazilian man executed along with the Bali Nine masterminds had no idea he was about to be killed, despite a priest spending three days preparing him for his death.

As the diplomatic fallout and disbelief grows over the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, along with four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian, for drugs crimes, the story of Rodrigo Gularte has been seized on, as a cruel second-act.

The most well known of the execution group were always Chan and Sukumaran - the Bali Nine masterminds. They led the death-party in a chorus of Amazing Grace. They shouted them a last supper of KFC.

But Rodrigo Gularte's story was more significant and the warnings of his imminent execution were said to be lost amongst the "voices in his head".

From sad beginnings to a tragic end. Not only was he unaware of his imminent death, right up until he was shackled in chains and marched from the prison; he probably never fully comprehended he committed a crime in the first place.

rodrigo gularte

Paranoid schizophrenic Rodrigo Gularte was executed along with Bali Nine masterminds Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

The 42-year-old was a paranoid schizophrenic and had bipolar disorder. Although sentenced to death, he thought the penalty had been abolished around the world. And he had no reason to doubt it. It had come from a 'trusted source' - the people Gularte believe monitored and controlled him via satellite through the microchip they had planted in his head.

Gularte was arrested in 2004 along with two other Brazilians for bringing 6kg of cocaine into Indonesia. A depressed teen, he turned to drugs, and was later recruited by a drug cartel.

He took the fall alone, telling police the two men arrested with him were not involved. They returned to Brazil.

A lawyer was hired, and paid, but fled, leaving Gularte standing alone in the dock - sentenced to death.

rodrigo gularte

Angelita Muxfeldt, left, a cousin of Gularte, touches his coffin at a funeral home in Jakarta

Father Charlie Burrows, a priest who ministers to prisoners in Cilacap, said he had spent three days unsuccessfully trying to explain to Gularte that his death was imminent.

“He was hearing voices all the time,” Burrows said, according to The Guardian.

“I talked to him for about an hour and a half, trying to prepare him for the execution. I said to him, ‘I’m 72 years old, I’ll be heading to heaven in the near future, so you find out where my house is and prepare a garden for me."

Gularte finally got the idea when he was shackled with chains, and taken from his cell, asking Burrows, "Am I being executed?"

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Indonesian executions

But exactly what lay ahead for Gularte was a complete mystery to him. Burrows said he told him that he was about to be killed, and that he had previously explained that to him. Gularte, he said, replied: "This is not right."

Burrows said: “He’s lost because he’s a schizophrenic. He asked if there was a sniper outside ready to shoot him, and I said no, and whether somebody would shoot him in the car, and I said no."

After Gularte was strapped to a wooden plank before facing the firing squad, Burrows had one last word with him. “He said, ‘This is not right, I made one small mistake, and I shouldn’t have to die for it.’ So he was annoyed more than anything else, because he’s a soft-spoken, quiet and sensitive man.”

Burrows also revealed that Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino housemaid who was spared from the firing squad at the last minute, did not know she had won a reprieve, and had already farewelled her two children, aged 12 and six. During a final visit, she had begged for more time, arguing they will "never see me again".

Burrows said, "the whole place broke down in tears". He claims the warden and attorneys said they just had to "do their job, that there should be a moratorium".

Meanwhile, it also emerged today that in the months before his execution, Chan had written a letter to school children deploring the use of drugs.

The letter, read out by Chan from inside his Indonesian prison cells, is part of a documentary called Dear Me which has been made available to high schools in the UK and Australia.

In the video, Chan, talks about his life as a teenager. He says he was no "teacher's pet" and later got "mixed up with drugs at a pretty young age".

By 15, Chan says, he had "emerged into the scene". Five-odd years later, along with Sukumaran, he was caught trying to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin to Australia and was sentenced to death. Killed after serving a decade behind bars.

rodrigo gularte

Andrew Chan's letter that he read out from behind bars in prison as part of the Dear Me documentary

Racisim and bullying had led to Chan to strive to be "tougher" in order to fit in. Out of his 20 or so friends in Australia, Chan said, nine are dead and the rest are incarcerated.

He said: "My life is a perfect example of an absolute waste.

"Now to elaborate the effects of where I am, I've missed weddings, I've missed funerals and the simple presence of my own family.

"The hurt and pain - I don't just put it onto myself, but the pain I put on my family is agonising.

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Lindsay Sandiford, Death Row Briton, 'Deeply Saddened' By Executions Of Bali Nine Ringleaders

Families Of Bali 9 In Heartbreaking Final Farewell As Duo Andrew Chan And Myuran Sukumaran Face Firing Squad

"A simple touch such as a hug is not possible for a condemned man like me. I have nothing but an iron bar to hug rather than to be embraced by those I love and who I miss."

Chan implores listeners to not follow in his footsteps.

'What you choose today will make what you become tomorrow. If you want to be a thug and a big bad wolf, I'll see you soon inside.

"But for those that want to do something in life I'd like you guys to see how important it is to put your head down and study hard.

"I hope these words will penetrate in your minds and in your hearts and I hope that most of you, if not all of you, will achieve more than I ever did."

Chan and Sukumaran's bodies are expected to arrive in Sydney tomorrow. Gularte will also be returned home, as will one of the four Nigerian's killed, as per his dying wishes.