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Sentences Eased for Five of 'Bali 9'

Five of Nine Australians Get Life Sentences Reduced to 20 Years.

(4/29/2006) The nine young Australians caught, tried and convicted for smuggling heroin through Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport passed yet another phase of the Indonesian judicial process last week that will determine there fate or future imprisonment in Bali.

• The original death sentences handed down by the Denpasar District Court for Andrew Chan, 21, and Myran Sukumaran, 25, marked as ringleaders by the Court, were affirmed. The two Australians final hope for redemption from the firing squad now rests with an appeal to the Supreme Court and, finally, a plea for clemency to the Indonesian President.

• Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen, 28, Matthew Norman, 19, Si Yi Chen, 21, Michael Czugaj, 20, and the sole female among the nine - Renae Lawrence, 28, all succeeded in seeing their life sentences reduced from life in prison to 20 year terms as the result of their appeals. Judge Lanang Prabawa, an Appeals Court Judge, told the press that the jail terms were cut because the five has acted only as mules and in deference to their young ages.

• Scott Rush, who also received a life sentence at the original trial, opted not to appeal his penalty; avoiding the possibility that the appeal court might decide to either reduce his penalty, uphold his life sentence or even increase his penalty by instating the death penalty originally demanded by State Prosecutors. However, in light of the court's reduction of the sentence for five of the 'Bali Nine', Rush’s lawyer is now reportedly considering using a technicality in the law to seek an appeal or new trial for his client.

• Martin Stephens, 28, was unsuccessful in his appeal, seeing his life sentence upheld by the Appeals Court.

Indonesian presently has 35 people on death row in connection with narcotics convictions.

 

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