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Indonesia sentences four Australians to death JAKARTA - An Indonesian appeals court has sentenced four Australian members of a drug smuggling ring to death, prompting a protest from the Australian government, officials said Wednesday. But the court spared the lives of two other Australians, sentencing them to life in prison. The fate of the men - part of a trafficking ring dubbed the "Bali Nine" by the media - has been followed closely in Australia, which does not have a death penalty. If carried out, the death sentences could strain ties between the two countries.

"We are grateful that the Indonesians are being tough on drugs. It's just that we don't support capital punishment," said Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. "We will, at the appropriate time, support appeals for clemency." The four men now facing death - Scott Rush, Tan Duc Than Nguyen, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman - originally received life terms for trying to take home more than 18 pounds of heroin from Indonesia's resort island of Bali last year.

The cases have wound through the judicial system since the original convictions, with defense attorneys and prosecutors both appealing. The first round of appeals saw Rush's life sentence upheld, while Nguyen, Chen and Norman's punishments were cut to 20 years. Rush appealed his verdict to the Supreme Court, while prosecutors asked judges to reinstate the original sentences of the others.

However, the Supreme Court ruled last month that all four would face the firing squad, said Mulyadi, a court official who attended the hearings. No reason was given for the decision. Zarof Ricard, another Supreme Court official, said two other convicted drug smugglers - Michael Czugaj and Martin Stephens - had been sentenced to life imprisonment. Lawyers for the men said they had yet to be informed of the verdict.

The men, aged 19 to 23, were arrested with five other Australians in April 2005, some at Bali's airport with heroin taped to their bodies and others in a hotel room purportedly plotting another shipment. The two ringleaders - Andrew Chan, 22, and Myuran Sukumaran, 25 - are already facing death. The final member of the "Bali Nine," Renae Lawrence, decided against challenging her 20-year sentence, which was reduced from life on appeal.

Australia's drug laws are more liberal than those in most Asian nations, and its government routinely asks that death sentences imposed on its citizens by foreign courts be commuted to time in prison. It is unlikely to take any steps in this case until the legal process is complete.

The Supreme Court's director of crime, Zarof Richard, said the four men had the right to file a final appeal known as a judicial review. If that fails, they could seek a presidential pardon, but that would require an admission of guilt. Indonesia often sentences drug smugglers - both foreign and local - to death. There are about 65 people awaiting execution in Indonesia, many of them Africans or Asians convicted of drug trafficking.

The country last executed drug smugglers in 2004 - an Indian man and two Thai women. The government is under pressure to crack down on rampant illegal drug use that kills scores of young, mostly poor people each year.


Related blog entries (category 'Drugs') Related blog entries (category 'Drugs'):
15 February 2006 · Bali sentences stoke tensions with Indonesia
30 January 2006 · Drug trial for young Australian postponed
27 January 2006 · Prosecutors demand second death penalty for 'Bali Nine'
06 January 2006 · Indonesia expects death penalty backlash
15 October 2005 · Court appearance for alleged drug ringleader


Posted in Drugs @ 07 September 2006 04:39 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





Yerun
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When I enter an Indonesian airport, there is always a pretty clear reminder of drug-related penalties. It goes something like this:


Bringing drugs into Indonesia carries death penalty


It's written in English and I assume it will also be used for those who carry drugs out of Indonesia. I don't understand whats not clear about that. You are a guest to a country... live with the rules or leave.

On TV I saw a 'bloke' telling that "Australians bring in a billion dollars every year", so they were expecting something in return for that. Ooh well, that's one way to tell the story... Emoticon: Laugh out loud



Yerun
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When I enter an Indonesian airport, there is always a pretty clear reminder of drug-related penalties. It goes something like this:


Bringing drugs into Indonesia carries death penalty


It's written in English and I assume it will also be used for those who carry drugs out of Indonesia. I don't understand whats not clear about that. You are a guest to a country... live with the rules or leave.

On TV I saw a 'bloke' telling that "Australians bring in a billion dollars every year", so they were expecting something in return for that. Ooh well, that's one way to tell the story... Emoticon: Laugh out loud



Ruben
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If I may react on this topic..

The thing is the whole indonesian justice system is not clear and I think unfair for foreigners...i'll give you an example;

First they have sentenced only two people (the brain of the group) to death and the other got life without parole...but few weeks later they turned that sentenced into death..thats insane!!!

If you see what Abu Bhakar gets..that is totally not correct..a man who killed more than 200 people is now a free man but few aussie youths who are young and still has a life they sentenced them to death..crazy justice system!!!



Ruben
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If I may react on this topic..

The thing is the whole indonesian justice system is not clear and I think unfair for foreigners...i'll give you an example;

First they have sentenced only two people (the brain of the group) to death and the other got life without parole...but few weeks later they turned that sentenced into death..thats insane!!!

If you see what Abu Bhakar gets..that is totally not correct..a man who killed more than 200 people is now a free man but few aussie youths who are young and still has a life they sentenced them to death..crazy justice system!!!



Jantje
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On 08-09-2006 17:30 Ruben wrote:
If you see what Abu Bhakar gets..that is totally not correct..a man who killed more than 200 people is now a free man but few aussie youths who are young and still has a life they sentenced them to death..crazy justice system!!!


Ruben you're wrong. Abu Bhakar didn't kill anybody. He only teaches people to kill those who don't obey islamic law Emoticon: Wink



Jantje
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On 08-09-2006 17:30 Ruben wrote:
If you see what Abu Bhakar gets..that is totally not correct..a man who killed more than 200 people is now a free man but few aussie youths who are young and still has a life they sentenced them to death..crazy justice system!!!


Ruben you're wrong. Abu Bhakar didn't kill anybody. He only teaches people to kill those who don't obey islamic law Emoticon: Wink



sidia
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On 08-09-2006 17:30 Ruben wrote:

few aussie youths who are young and still has a life they sentenced them to death..crazy justice system!!!


young and innocence ??



sidia
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On 08-09-2006 17:30 Ruben wrote:

few aussie youths who are young and still has a life they sentenced them to death..crazy justice system!!!


young and innocence ??



Jantje
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Om Sid,

The verdict is out of all proportions. ABB is a greater threat to the nation than those yong Australians.
This juridical system stinks. Emoticon: Angry



Jantje
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Om Sid,

The verdict is out of all proportions. ABB is a greater threat to the nation than those yong Australians.
This juridical system stinks. Emoticon: Angry



sidia
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Ach begitu ? Is het zo ?



sidia
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Ach begitu ? Is het zo ?



kiwimave
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It's definately not smart of the Indon. Supreme Court to hand down those sentences. Another blow for the people of Bali. But they won't care of course, those Islamic judges live in their own ivory tower and don't know how they make the people of Bali suffer with this sentence. And why is ABB not dead yet?



kiwimave
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It's definately not smart of the Indon. Supreme Court to hand down those sentences. Another blow for the people of Bali. But they won't care of course, those Islamic judges live in their own ivory tower and don't know how they make the people of Bali suffer with this sentence. And why is ABB not dead yet?



Martin-Solo.
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(Edited) Posted @ 11 September 2006 17:32

www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=3394


It seems like there is no way back for the other four .



Martin-Solo.
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(Edited) Posted @ 11 September 2006 17:32

www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=3394


It seems like there is no way back for the other four .



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