These peeps are pretty stupid, after the Schapelle Corby brouhaha they still try to play around with drugs in Indonesia. You do the crime, you do the time!
Following is a look at the nine Australians convicted this week of attempting to smuggle 8.292 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia.
They were arrested on April 17, 2005. Four of them, referred to as “drug mules”, were apprehended at Ngurah Rai International Airport with a total of nearly 8 kilograms of heroin strapped to their bodies. The fifth, a ringleader, was arrested while on a plane about to depart for Sydney. The other four were nabbed at the Melasti Bungalows near Kuta Beach in Denpasar, where police found two bags of heroin weighing more than 300 grams.
Denpasar District Court sentenced the two ringleaders to death, while the other seven received life sentences. All nine are planning to appeal.Andrew Chan (22). Death Sentence.
From Enfield, Sydney, New South Wales (NSW). Former supervisor with catering firm Eurest. He had made visits to Bali in August, October and December of 2004. Reports said the October visit was a successful heroin smuggling operation that also involved Renae Lawrence. The December visit was an aborted smuggling operation.
He was carrying no drugs when removed from an Australian Airlines flight about to depart for Sydney. He was to have taken the heroin from the mules after they arrived in Australia.
Named the "godfather" by prosecutors. He was accused of planning and funding the April 2005 heroin smuggling attempt and of recruiting the four mules (Renae Lawrence, Martin Stephens, Matthew Norman and Martin Stephens were among his subordinates at Eurest).
The mules claimed Chan threatened to shoot them and their families if they refused to take the heroin to Australia.
Chan appeared indifferent during most of his trial, at times smiling and smirking. Sometimes he would take books to read in court. He was frequently unwilling to give detailed responses to questions and also refused to testify during the trials of his codefendants, despite warnings that his obstinacy would result in a harsh sentence. When prosecutors recommended he be sentenced to death, he merely responded "no problem".
He was slightly more contrite in making his final plea to the court, seeking mercy and claiming he had only smiled during the trial because of his Christian faith. "The reason why I always smile is because I feel the Lord's presence anywhere I go and he gives me the courage. I feel it in this very courtroom today. I'm 22-years-old and I'm a young man, all I ask your honor is that you will give me an opportunity to restart my new fulfilled life.”
Reading from a two-page written statement, Chan defended his refusal to answer questions during his trial. "I didn't say anything in court because if I did, I'd be lying. The truth is, I know nothing. A lot of lies have been said against me, but the true reality is I'm not what people put me out to be. I've never threatened anybody in my life."
Judges backed up that last claim in the other trials, saying there was no evidence Chan had made any threats.
In his statements to police, Chan claimed he came to Bali for a holiday and had no knowledge of a heroin smuggling plot. He also claimed that it was Renae Lawrence who had paid for his holiday and told him to book a Kuta hotel room under a false name. He further claimed it was Myuran Sukumaran who strapped packages onto the mules inside a hotel room while he was ordered to guard the door. The mules said that both Chan and Sukumaran strapped on the heroin.
Chan’s girlfriend Grace Borg, who has not been arrested, is said to have played a role in the operation by packing items used for the smuggling into a suitcase used by Lawrence.
In terms of forensic evidence, a silver suitcase once handled by Chan contained elements of heroin that matched the drugs seized from the mules at the airport.
Prosecutors recommended death for Chan, saying he deserved no leniency. Judges sentenced him to death on February 14. Presiding judge Arief Supartman said he had been proven guilty of “exporting heroin in an organized ring and possessing a prohibited class one narcotic”.Myuran Sukumaran (24). Death Sentence.
Martial arts expert from Sydney. Born in London of Sri Lankan parentage. Described by prosecutors as the "enforcer" of the operation. Arrested at the Melasti Hotel while allegedly waiting for a second load of heroin to arrive, to be trafficked by the remaining drug mules. Was involved in planning the operation and strapping heroin to the first four mules.
Unlike the other defendants, he did not plead for mercy in his final court appearance. Was often silent during his trial but usually appeared respectful. At one hearing he claimed to be suffering from amnesia and denied any knowledge of the heroin smuggling plan. His lawyers had asked judges to throw out his indictment on the grounds that it contained “errors” and lacked proof.
Judges and prosecutors at times tried to cajole him into telling the truth, but to no avail. He refused to testify in the trial of fellow defendant Michael Czugaj on the grounds that “I am also on trial". Denied knowing Czugaj and Scott Rush. Denied signing police statements. Gave four different versions of his signature when judges asked him to sign his name.
Claimed he went to Bali alone on holiday and met Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen on the plane on the way over. Claimed he had no idea who owned the drugs found at the Melasti or those found on the mules.
Prosecutors recommended death for Sukumaran, saying there were no grounds for leniency. Judges sentenced him to death on February 14. He showed little emotion.
There has been speculation that he might have channeled drug smuggling profits to Sri Lanka’s militant separatist group, the Tamil Tigers. Renae Lawrence (28). Life Imprisonment.
The only woman among the nine, Lawrence is a former panel beater and caterer from the NSW city of Newcastle. She was arrested at the airport with 2.689 kilograms of heroin strapped to her body. She initially admitted to police that she and Chan had visited Bali in October 2004 and made a successful heroin run to Sydney. She said their second mission in December 2004 was aborted when heroin suppliers failed to deliver. She retracted those confessions during her trial.
Prior to her arrest in Bali, Lawrence was arrested with Matthew Norman on March 26, 2005, while traveling in a stolen car. The two were due to appear in a Sydney court on April 26 on car theft charges.
Lawrence was considered the most cooperative of the nine, providing investigators with details of how the smuggling operation was planned. She apologized for her actions, claiming Chan had threatened to have her and her family killed if she failed to participate in the operation. "I would like to say to you and your country that I am sincerely sorry for what I have done. I need you to understand why I did it and ask for the mercy of this court," she said.
"I'm guilty of carrying this stuff to Australia, but I'm not guilty of owning, selling or anything else because Andrew Chan owns it, not me.”
Prosecutors had recommended a 20-year sentence as a reward for her cooperation. But judges on February 13 gave her a life sentence, saying they found no evidence that her life had been threatened. "The council of judges found no proof of the use of force in this crime, therefore the defendant has to be sentenced as fairly as possible,” said judge I Gusti Ngurah Astawa.
Lawrence wept after her interpreter translated the verdict. Her lawyers and relatives fear she may attempt to commit suicide. During her time behind bars, Lawrence has befriended fellow Australian inmate Schapelle Corby, who is serving a 20-year sentence for marijuana smuggling.Scott Rush (20). Life Sentence.
Former laborer from Brisbane, Queensland. He was caught at the airport with 1.3 kilograms of heroin strapped to body. Told judges he had naively believed promises of a free holiday to Bali and had no idea he was becoming involved in a drug operation.
His father, Lee Rush, testified in court that he tried to stop Scott coming to Bali. He said his “father's instinct” told him that something was wrong, so he informed the Australian Federal Police that Scott was planning a trip to Bali, in the hope they would stop him from leaving. He said police agreed to stop Scott boarding the flight to Indonesia but then reneged on their word.
Rush and his former school friend Michael Czugaj, both of whom had never been abroad before, were recruited for the operation by Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen. Rush claimed Nguyen offered them an all-expenses paid holiday because “he didn't have anyone to come to Bali with him”.
He said Chan strapped the heroin to his body and threatened to shoot him if he tried to back out of the operation. "You do as I say, don't mess around with me. I've got a gun with me and I could kill you. If I wanted to, I could kill you right now," he quoted Chan as saying.
Rush claimed that when threatened with death, he was too scared to turn himself over to police. He said he had to go along with the operation because he feared the ringleaders would otherwise kill his parents. He denied having told Indonesian police he would be paid A$5,000 if he brought the heroin packages back to Australia.
In his final plea to the court, he said the prosecution’s demand for a life sentence was "unfair and inhumane" because he had cooperated with investigators. "I am a young Australian who loves the truth and my parents and my country always. My country teaches me to obey the laws. Therefore to the board of judges in Indonesia... and to all the people of Indonesia and Australia, I tell you for the sake of God, I swear with all the consequences, I did not know the bad plan of Andrew Chan and his friends to export narcotics," he said.
"I hope this will be a lesson for everyone, especially my people in Australia, not to believe other people that you do not know well."
Prosecutors had recommended a life sentence and judges delivered it on February 13. "The decision is not to kill but to amend his ways and to make him realize what he did," said presiding judge Made Sudia. He rejected Rush’s claim that he had come to Bali on a paid holiday and had no idea he would be required to carry drugs. “The defendants and other witnesses [mules] as adults must have questioned or doubted the invitation to receive a passport and funds for a holiday to Bali."
Rush consulted his lawyer Robert Khuana and then told the judges he would appeal. He is now learning Indonesian while behind bars.
After the sentencing, Brisbane’s Courier-Mail reported that Rush has a record of 16 convictions over two years, with offenses including drug possession, fraud and theft. The report said he had been using cannabis since he was 15, as well as heroin, ecstasy and prescription drugs.Martin Stephens (29). Life Sentence.
Former bartender from Wollongong, NSW. Arrested at the airport with 2.9 kilograms of heroin strapped to his body. Cooperative with police investigators.
After his arrest, he told reporters that Sukumaran and Chan had threatened to kill him and his family if he tried to abort the smuggling operation. “I met Myuran Sukumaran before I left for Bali, and he told me to pretend I didn't know Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman and try not to disobey any instruction, or my family and me would be killed,” he said.
"They threatened me. They threatened my family, my friends, my love - my girlfriend… They showed me pictures."
Stephens’ lawyer is Adnan Wirawan, who also represented Bali bomber Amrozi, now sentenced to death and awaiting execution. Wirawan described Stephens as a "human suitcase" lured to Bali by Chan and Sukumaran.
Sentenced to life imprisonment on February 14. His lawyer initially advised him not to risk appealing to higher courts, which could give him the death sentence, but to appeal directly to the president for clemency. But on Thursday he said Stephens had decided to opt for a court appeal.Michael Czugaj (20). Life Sentence.
Former apprentice carpenter/glazier from Brisbane. Caught at the airport with 1.75 kilograms of heroin taped to his body. Had quit his job in March 2005, telling his family he was going to Cairns for holiday.
Claimed his former school friend Rush introduced him to Tan Nguyen, who offered them a free holiday to Bali. He insisted it was not until the final day that Chan ordered him to take part in the smuggling operation or face death.
In his final plea, he expressed remorse, saying he should not have accepted the “free holiday”. He thanked authorities for treating him well. "Thank you to the authorities for how well we have been treated in custody in Bali. I am truly sorry and regret all that has happened. To start with... I was deceived by Tan with his offer of a free holiday to Bali with his friends. In all honesty I should not have been so blind to this, this so-called holiday. But as Bali has always been a favorite destination, it made me overwhelmed with excitement, I jumped at the chance to go to Bali."
Czugaj said Chan threatened to kill him and his family if he did not carry the heroin. "I would never put my family in any danger and I would do anything to keep my family from harm's way. I am sure any person would do the same as I have done."
His trial was delayed at times when he complained of headaches and hunger. After being sentenced to life imprisonment on February 14, he said he was likely to appeal.Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen (23). Life Sentence.
From Brisbane, where he had worked in his family’s bakery. Accused of being third in command after Chan and Sukumaran. Recruited mules Rush and Czugaj and allegedly provided them with funds.
Had made two previous trips to Bali. Arrested with Sukumaran, Matthew Norman and Si Yi Chen at Melasti Hotel, where police said they were preparing for a second heroin consignment. He was tried together with Norman and Chen.
Nguyen was generally quiet during the trial, apart from occasionally citing his legal rights. Asked by judges to explain his knowledge of Indonesian law, he joked "it just came in my mind".
Denied being a financier of the operation, claiming he was only in Bali for a holiday. “I basically stand here before you to tell you that I love Indonesia and I would never intentionally damage or hurt her reputation. I only wanted to come here. If given a chance I would definitely recommend this holiday island to many friends and family," he said in his final plea.
"As the only and oldest son in the family I was the one who supported my four younger sisters, and I paid for the groceries and my sisters' education and school needs, so how could I possibly be the financier? The impact on my family has left them shattered and truly devastated, and our lives will never be the same again.”
Sentenced to life imprisonment on February 15. Many observers believed he was lucky not to get the death penalty for his organizational role.
Presiding judge Istinigsih Rahayu said the heroin in the room at the Melasti matched that carried by the four mules. He said the room also contained the remains of the tape and strapping used to affix the heroin package to the mules’ bodies. Matthew Norman (19). Life Sentence.
Former caterer from Sydney. The youngest of the group. Arrested at Melasti Hotel. It was his second trip to Bali.
Often seemed bewildered and dazed during his trial and was regularly ill. Refused to testify and in some trial appearances claimed to be sick. In his final plea, he said he was only in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He told judges he would never take drugs because the mother of one of his friends had once nearly been killed by an overdose. "I made a promise to myself that I would not take drugs or be associated with anybody involved of using drugs."
Also told the court he had rediscovered the Christian faith while behind bars. "I'd ask you today to give the opportunity to restart my new Christian life, which I have found in jail. I ask with all my heart you will let me have the opportunity to help other people in life. In all honesty I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Sentenced to life imprisonment on February 15. His mother Robyn Norman thanked the Indonesian government for looking after her son and said a life sentence was better than a bullet. “Well, it's better than being shot, I suppose. He's OK. Hopefully they'll keep on looking after him while I'm not here and when I return and spend a bit more time with my son." Si Yi Chen, 20, of Sydney. Life Sentence.
From Sydney. Arrested at Melasti Hotel. His father had reported him missing two weeks after he left home and insisted he was never involved in drugs.
He was quiet during the three-man trial and could barely be heard when speaking to the court. In his final plea, he said: "I believe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. My intention was to come to Bali for a holiday. I appeal to you to be merciful and give me a more lenient sentence."
Told judges he wanted a chance to start his own family and was still needed at home to look after his aging parents. "I don't want to spend the rest of my life in prison away from my family and friends for being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Sentenced to life imprisonment on February 15. http://www.laksamana.net/news_read.php?gid=140