Bali Nine : biography
The Bali Nine is the name given to a group of nine Australians arrested on 17 April 2005, in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, in a plan to smuggle of heroin valued at approximately A$4 million 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, all aged between 18 and 28 at the time of their arrests, 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 following day, Czugaj and Stephens were sentenced to life imprisonment, and the group ringleaders, Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced to death via firing squad; the first ever death sentences imposed by the Denpasar District Court. The remaining three, Norman, Chen and Nguyen were all sentenced to life imprisonment on 15 February 2006. On 26 April 2006, Lawrence, Nguyen, Chen, and Norman had their sentences reduced to 20-year sentences on appeal, while the life sentences for Czugaj and Stephens were upheld. Prosecutors launched appeals against the reductions in sentences.
On 6 September 2006, it was revealed that as a result of appeals brought by prosecutors and heard by the Supreme Court, Scott Rush, Tan Duc Than Nguyen, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman had the death penalty reimposed. 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. Michael Czugaj's life sentence, after being reduced to 20 years on appeal, was reinstated. Martin Stephens' life sentence was upheld on appeal as were Sukumaran's and Chan's death sentence. Renae 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 (Matthew Norman, Si Yi Chen and Tan Duc Thanh 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, Scott 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 Andrew Chan and Myuran 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. Unless granted clemency by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose policy already rules out any leniency to those sentenced to death for drug trafficking,http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2006/07/01/president-sby-rules-out-clemency-drug-dealers.html President SBY rules out clemency for drug dealers (The Jakarta Post) Sukumaran and Chan are expected to face execution. Sukumaran and Chan are currently in Kerobokan Prison awaiting execution by firing squad.
Police were unclear how the two groups from Sydney and Brisbane were linked, but did establish the movements of members of the group before their departure for Indonesia. Several of the Bali Nine were employed by Eurest Australia, a multinational catering company of over 9,000 employees. Matthew Norman, Renae Lawrence, Martin Stephens, and Andrew Chan, a supervisor with the company, all worked for Eurest who provided hospitality services to the Sydney Cricket Ground where the group were employed. Rush and Czugaj claim they were recruited by fellow defendant and suspected financier of the smuggling plan, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, while socialising at a karaoke bar in Brisbane.
Rush had met Nguyen six months earlier whilst fishing. Rush travelled to Sydney with Nguyen to attend a 21st birthday party where he was introduced to Sukumaran, who called himself "Mark". Nguyen offered them free trips to Bali. Several days later Rush returned to Sydney with friend Michael Czugaj where plans for the pair's travel to Indonesia was organised. Rush and Czugaj had never travelled abroad. Lawrence had travelled to Bali on three occasions, first arriving on 16 October 2004, then again on 5 December 2004 and 6 April 2005. Matthew Norman on 5 December 2004, 19 January 2005 and 6 April 2005; Myuran Sukumaran on 4 October 2004 and 8 April 2005; Andrew Chan on 16 October 2004 and 6 April 2005 and Thac Duc Thanh Nguyen on 5 December 2004 and 8 April 2005. Chen, Stephens, Czugaj and Rush were on their first trip abroad when arrested on 17 April 2005.
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