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Prosecutors demand second death penalty for 'Bali Nine' DENPASAR - Indonesian prosecutors asked a court on Thursday to sentence to death another one of the alleged ring leaders of a drug smuggling operation involving nine Australians dubbed the 'Bali Nine'. Prosecutors demanded the death penalty for Australian Andrew Chan, 21, who was arrested April 17 at a hotel in Bali during a sting operation on an organized drug smuggling network on the resort island.

Australian drug suspects (L-R) Si Yi Chen, Matthew Norman, and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen sit in a holding cell waiting for their sentence demand trial at a Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday 25 January 2006. Indonesian prosecutors Wednesday asked a court to sentence the three of them, accused of trying to smuggle heroin out of the resort island of Bali, to life in prison. The three, arrested in Bali on April 17 last year, belong to the so-called 'Bali Nine', nine Australian nationals arrested as part of a drug-smuggling network. EPA/MADE NAGI
Australian drug suspects (L-R) Si Yi Chen, Matthew Norman, and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen sit in a holding cell waiting for their sentence demand trial at a Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday 25 January 2006. Indonesian prosecutors Wednesday asked a court to sentence the three of them, accused of trying to smuggle heroin out of the resort island of Bali, to life in prison. The three, arrested in Bali on April 17 last year, belong to the so-called 'Bali Nine', nine Australian nationals arrested as part of a drug-smuggling network. EPA/MADE NAGI
'Andrew Chan is legally and convincingly guilty of possessing and exporting illegal drugs in an organized way,' prosecutor Olopan Nainggolan told the district court in the capital of Denpasar. Chan, who was smiling and nodded his head a few times as prosecutors read his demand, and Myuran Sukumaran, 24, for whom prosecutors demanded the death penalty earlier this week, are accused of being the two 'ring leaders' of the network.

Prosecutors have asked for life sentences for six other defendants being charged for drug smuggling as couriers, with prosecutors demanding 20 years for the only woman on trial, Renae Lawrence, 28. 'The defendant never admitted his action, and what he did was a crime that involved an international drug syndicate,' Nainggolan said, adding that there were no mitigating factors why the court should give Chan a lesser sentence.

'Together with Sukumaran and Tan Duc Tanh Nguyen, Chan paid the travel expenses for other defendants in the case to bring the heroin,' prosecutor Wayan Sinaryati told the court. Under Indonesian trial procedure, prosecutors recommend to judges a punishment for defendants if found guilty. Judges are not bound by the demands.

Drug smuggling is a capital offence in Indonesia, and the possibility that nine Australians might face death by firing squad has outraged some in Australia, which opposes the death penalty. The fact that Australian police had tipped off their Indonesian counterparts in the drug bust of the nine defendants has fueled the controversy.

The trials of the nine Australians are the latest in a series of high-profile drug cases involving Australians in Indonesia. Schapelle Corby, 28, was found guilty in May of smuggling 4.1 kilograms of marijuana that was found stashed inside her unlocked surfboard bag when she arrived in Bali.

An Australian model, Michelle Leslie, 24, was also charged in Bali for the illegal possession of two ecstasy tablets after her arrest in August. She was given a three-month sentence. The trial of Chan was adjourned until Thursday, February 2, when the court was scheduled to hear his plea.


Related blog entries (category 'Drugs') Related blog entries (category 'Drugs'):
06 January 2006 · Govt withdraws last Aceh police personnel
15 October 2005 · Court appearance for alleged drug ringleader
11 October 2005 · Nine Austrailans go on trial in Indonesia over drug charges
09 May 2005 · Teen faces court in connection with Bali nine
29 April 2005 · Bali Nine linked to major drug syndicate


Posted in Drugs @ 27 January 2006 07:09 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





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