Slava Novorossiya

Slava Novorossiya

Friday, April 17, 2015


“A drug dealer’s crime is of the same magnitude as that of a terrorist. It’s just that terrorist’s bomb, like those in the Bali Nightclubs in 2002, killed 202 people in one night – the impact is sudden. The evil effects of drug takes longer to manifest themselves but are just as deadly, and, in many ways, more deadly, as they affect generations to come.”

- Judge Arif Supratman

            Ten years ago on this date, April 17, 2005, nine Australians were arrested in Denpansar, Bali, Indonesia for drug trafficking. I will post information about these drug traffickers from Wikipedia.

Bali Nine members (top L-R) Myuran Sukumaran, Andrew Chan and Martin Eric Stephens, 2nd row (from L-R) Chen Si Yi, Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen and Matthew Norman, and 3rd row (from L-R) Scott Rush, Michael Czugaj and Renae Lawrence. Picture: Supplied Source: News Limited

Criminal penalty
Criminal status
  • Chen, Czugaj, Lawrence, Nguyen, Norman, Rush and Stephens: Imprisoned
  • Chan, Sukumaran: Imprisoned awaiting the execution by firing squad

Imprisoned at
The Bali Nine is the name given to a group of nine Australians arrested on 17 April 2005 in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, for planning to smuggle 8.3 kg (18 lb) of heroin valued at around A$4 million (3.1 million US dollars) from Indonesia to Australia. Andrew Chan, Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj, Renae Lawrence, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Matthew Norman, Scott Rush, Martin Stephens and Myuran Sukumaran, faced the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

On 13 February 2006, Lawrence and Rush, the first of the nine to face sentencing, were sentenced to life imprisonment. The next day, Czugaj and Stephens were sentenced to life imprisonment, and the group ringleaders, Chan and Sukumaran, were sentenced to death by firing squad, the first ever death sentences imposed by the Denpasar District Court. The other three, Norman, Chen and Nguyen were all sentenced to life imprisonment on 15 February 2006. On 26 April 2006, Lawrence, Nguyen, Chen, and Norman appealed and had their sentences reduced to 20 years, while the life sentences for Czugaj and Stephens were upheld. Prosecutors launched appeals against the changes in their sentences.

On 6 September 2006, it was revealed that as a result of appeals brought by prosecutors and heard by the Supreme Court, Chen had the death penalty reimposed after his reduced sentence of life imprisonment was overturned. Rush, Nguyen and Norman also had their appeal verdicts overturned and the death penalty imposed. The new death sentences were unexpected. Prosecutors, in their appeals against the 20-year terms faced by most of the nine, had only called for them to be upgraded to life imprisonment. Czugaj's life sentence, after being reduced to 20 years on appeal, was reinstated. Stephens' life sentence was upheld on appeal as were Sukumaran's and Chan's death sentences. Lawrence had not lodged a further appeal to her 20-year sentence, so her sentence was not rejudged.

On 6 March 2008, it was revealed that three of the four Bali 9 (Norman, Chen and Nguyen) who were issued death sentences on appeal had their sentences reduced to life imprisonment. The reduction has not been officially announced but court sources have confirmed that the judges have decided to spare their lives. In August 2010, Rush launched his final appeal to overturn the death penalty, and was granted a judicial review, which commenced on 18 August 2010. On 10 May 2011, Rush's appeal was successful as his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment. On 21 September 2010, the leaders of the drug smuggling ring, Chan and Sukumaran appealed against their pending death-row sentence and to reduce their jail time to 20 years, instead of the previous life sentence. On 17 June 2011, it was announced that Chan's final judicial appeal was rejected on 10 May. On 7 July 2011 it was announced that Sukumaran's final judicial appeal was dismissed. On 10 December 2014, the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo stated in a speech that he will not approve any clemencies for drug offences. On 30 December, Sukumaran's plea for clemency was rejected; and Chan's plea for clemency was rejected on 22 January 2015. Both Sukumaran and Chan are currently in Kerobokan Prison awaiting the completion of their sentence via execution, having exhausted all appeal opportunities.

In January 2015 Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott, together with Australia's minister for foreign affairs, Julie Bishop, made representations to Jokowi and Indonesia's foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, for clemency in the commutation of Sukumaran and Chan's sentences.

Sukumaran and Chan were expected to be executed on the Indonesian penal island of Nusa Kambangan by the end of March 2015. Together with consular officials from France, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines, representatives from the Australian embassy attended a foreign affairs ministry briefing on procedural matters concerning the executions.

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