Sunday, 19 June 2011

Glimpse of Chan family pain

Chan family appeal for Indonesian clemency
19 June 2011

AAP on The Sydney Morning Herald

The brother of Bali Nine ringleader Andrew Chan has appealed to the Indonesian president to give him "a second chance at life".

In an emotional appeal in Sydney on Sunday, Michael Chan said his parents were devastated at the news their son had lost his final appeal against his death sentence for his role in the plot to smuggle heroin from Bali to Australia.

"Mum and dad are finding it very hard and are struggling to come to terms with this
decision," Mr Chan said through his tears.

"Each day is harder to see the pain and anguish they suffer knowing their son is facing execution."

The Indonesian Supreme Court on Friday said it had rejected Chan's final appeal against a death sentence for his involvement in the 2005 attempt to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin out of Bali.

A clemency appeal to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the 27-year-old's last hope of escaping the firing squad.

When asked what message he had for the president, Mr Chan said his brother didn't deserve to be shot.

"If he's listening, (please) give him a second chance at life," he said.

Mr Chan said his parents, who live at Enfield in Sydney, had not been given the news officially, but they were assuming it was true.

He said he had spoken to his younger brother since the final decision and Chan was staying positive.

"He's really clear on one thing - he's just going to keep on doing his best to be a better person, lead a good life, whether he's got a short time or a long time to go."

Chan had made great efforts to turn his life around, and was studying theology, participating in church and teaching other inmates English and computer skills, Mr Chan said.

"When he made his mistake he was a kid, he's grown into an adult in the last couple of years ...

"Hopefully the president can see that change in him."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd have both said the Australian government would support Chan's likely bid for clemency, but his brother said the family had had no contact with the government in the past few days.

Australian PM backs Chan clemency

Gillard against Chan death penalty
By Petrina Berry
18 June 2011

AAP on The Brisbane Times

Prime Minister Julia Gillard hasn't ruled out appealing to Indonesia's president personally to have the death penalty against convicted Bali Nine ringleader Andrew Chan quashed.

Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected Chan's final appeal against the death penalty.

His only chance now is a plea for clemency to Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Ms Gillard, ahead of her address at an ALP conference in Brisbane, said Australia does not support the death penalty and the government will do whatever it can to help.

Asked if she will talk to the president herself, she said: "I'll be happy to do whatever is necessary to put as much force as we can into the appeal for clemency, including personally involving myself.

She said the government was supporting the family and Chan's lawyers.

Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd, also in Brisbane for the party's annual conference, said the government would stand by Chan.

"We will do what we have done with any other Australians who have been convicted of a capital offence and that is to use every form of representation to government concerned in support of that person," Mr Rudd said.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Indonesia: Andrew Chan appeal lost

Bali Nine ringleader loses final appeal
By Indonesia correspondent Matt Brown, wires

From: ABC Online, 17 June 2011

One of the Bali Nine drug smuggling ringleaders, Andrew Chan, has lost an appeal against his death sentence.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were found guilty of organising a shipment of more than eight kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia in 2005 and sentenced to death.

Indonesia's supreme court has now rejected his final appeal.

The decision was made on May 10 but was only posted on the supreme court website this afternoon.

His lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, says he is shocked at the result and could not comment further until he has spoken with his client.

The supreme court judges reviewing Chan's appeal say they found no obvious error in the original decision to impose the death penalty.

But Chan's Balinese lawyer, Nyoman Gede Sudiantara, says the legal team is shocked because Chan was not caught with any of the drugs the Bali Nine planned to smuggle to Australia.

Chan's last chance for a reprieve would be an appeal for clemency to Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The decision is a bad sign for Sukumaran, who is also waiting on the results of his appeal.

Chan and Sukumaran both launched final appeals in August last year.

The appeals rested on evidence that the men have been successfully rehabilitated and are role models inside prison.

Chan and Sukumaran had both been running education courses for fellow inmates inside Bali's Kerobokan prison as part of their efforts to rehabilitate.

Chan, 26, told the Denpasar District Court last year he knew he could not change the "stupid things" he did in the past.

"But I have genuinely changed my behaviour and I really want to focus on what I can do now and in the future," he said.

Chan, who has also been studying for a bachelor's degree in theology while in prison, said he hoped to become a minister or a counsellor so he could help others avoid his mistakes.

"I accept that I deserve to be punished for my crime but I beg the court that I not be executed," he said.

"I hope I am given another chance in life."

At the hearing, both men apologised for previously pleading not guilty, blaming bad advice from their previous legal team.

They also apologised for their behaviour at earlier court appearances, conceding they did not show appropriate respect.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd says the Government will vigorously support clemency for Mr Chan.

She says the Minister's thoughts are with Mr Chan and his family at this deeply distressing time.

A supreme court decision in May spared fellow Bali Nine death-row inmate Scott Rush the death penalty, instead sentencing him to life in prison.

Five other members of the drug smuggling plot - Martin Stephens, Matthew Norman, Michael Czugaj, Si Yi Chen and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen - are also serving life sentences.

The final member of the drug ring, courier Renae Lawrence, is serving a 20-year sentence.