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The Low Down on a Bali High

Sentences in Bali 9 Trial Affirm, Once Again, That Only Dopes Bring Drugs to Bali.

(2/20/2006) 9 young Australians arrested in Bali on April 17, 2005, in connection with their attempt to smuggle over 8 kilograms of heroin out of the Country all learned their fate last week when judges handed down sentences at the end of a lengthy trial that had captured international media attention.

The judges at the Bali District Court meted out the following punishments to the now infamous "Bali Nine":

Renae Lawrence, 28, the only female charged, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Prosecutors had sought a 20 year sentence.

Scott Anthony Rush, 21, matching the penalty demanded by Prosecutors, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Andrew Chan, 22, arrested on board an Australian-bound flight prior to take-off and charged by Prosecutors with being a ringleader. was sentenced to death before a firing squad.

Myuran Sukumaran, 24, arrested at a hotel in Kuta, was charged with acting as a ringleader in the crime and sentenced to death before a firing squad, as requested by Prosecutors.

Michael W. Czugaj, 20, arrested at Bali's airport in possession of heroin was sentenced to life in prison, as requested by Prosecutors.

Martin Erick Stephens, 29, arrested at Bali's airport in possession of heroin was sentenced to life in prison, as requested by Prosecutors.

Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, 23, arrested at a Kuta hotel and charged with acting as a ringleader he was sentenced to life in prison, as requested by Prosecutors.

Si Ti Chen, 20, arrested at a Kuta hotel and charged with being a courier was sentenced to life in prison, as requested by Prosecutors.

Matthew James Norman, 20, arrested at a Kuta hotel and charged with being a courier was sentenced to life in prison, as requested by Prosecutors.

The convicted felons have one week to file a formal appeal of their sentence; weighing carefully the possibility that the Appeal Court could choose to reject, reduce, affirm or even increase the penalty imposed at the end of the first file.

When Shapelle Corby, a Queensland native convicted of smuggling over 4 kilograms of marijuana, recently appealed her 15 year sentence the appeals court increased her penalty to 20 years.

The Low Down on a Bali High

9 young Australians have discovered, albeit too late, that a holiday in Bali built around a drug theme can result in a life-long holiday in hell.

Alas, the Bali accommodation provider with the longest average length of stay is not the hotel of choice for most people visiting Bali's Kerobokan area. By all accounts, conditions at Bali's main prison are cramped and its facilities as compared with other Bali hotels are sorely lacking.