Prosecutors Demand Death Be Upheld for Bali 9 Rush


Prosecutors argued before the Denpasar District Court on Monday that Australian Scott Rush, a member of the so-called Bali Nine drug-smuggling gang, should be executed no matter how small his part in the operation.

They shot down testimony by former Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty last month that Rush was not a main player in the 2005 attempt to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia, but played a minor role.

Prosecutors said Keelty’s testimony could not be considered “new evidence.”

Rush, 24, is making his final appeal to the court, in a judicial review of his case. To succeed it must have compelling evidence that was not previously brought before the court. He was not required in court on Monday and remained at Kerobokan Prison. The acting Australian consul-general, Brent Hall, attended the hearing.

“It does not matter how small his participation was; it supported the entire activity (of attempted drug-smuggling),” prosecutors told the court, which will issue a recommendation on the judicial review before sending the case to the Supreme Court to decide.

Prosecutors said the Rush’s acts contributed to damaging Bali’s global image and reputation as a tourist destination, and had threatened to hurt the island’s economy.

If his appeal fails Rush will have one last avenue to avoid death, a pardon from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The Supreme Court in 2006 upgraded Rush’s life sentence to death, carried out in Indonesia by firing squad.

Currently another Australian is seeking presidential clemency: Schapelle Corby, who is serving 20 years’ prison in Bali for drug smuggling.

Final appeals of two other members of the Bali Nine, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, began being heard last week and will continue early next month.

The remaining six members of the Bali Nine are serving jail terms ranging from 20 years to life.

Three of them — Tan Duc Than Nguyen, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman — were sentenced to death by the Supreme Court but after filing judicial reviews the sentences were overturned and they were given life imprisonment.

Rush is seeking 20 years in prison.

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