Death-Row Rush Awaits Verdict after Final Hearing Wraps
The Denpasar District Court finished reviewing on Monday an appeal by an Australian drug smuggler against his death sentence and will pass its recommendations to the country’s highest court.
Scott Rush, a 24-year-old member of the so-called Bali Nine gang, is appealing his death sentence for a 2005 attempt to smuggle 8.3 kilogrammes of heroin to Australia from Bali.
Chief judge Putu Suika told the court that the recommendations would be passed to the Supreme Court in Jakarta, which would pass sentence.
“We will not announce the judges’ recommendations as we will send them along with other documents,” he said without giving a date for the verdict.
Rush’s lawyer, Frans Winarta, said he hoped that testimonies by witnesses, including two top Australian police officers, would help secure a lighter sentence. They told the court last month that Rush was only a courier.
“There are several things that will become considerations for the Supreme Court to annul his death sentence,” he told reporters, adding that Rush was still young and had no previous convictions.
If Rush’s appeal is rejected his only hope would be a direct appeal for clemency to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The president has previously shown little mercy to death row drug convicts, although he regularly reduces sentences for corrupt officials.
Rush was not present at Monday’s session but apologised in court in late August and begged for forgiveness.
Two other Bali Nine members, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, have also launched appeals against their death sentences.
Five others — Martin Stephens, Matthew Norman, Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj and Thanh Nguyen — are serving life sentences.
Renae Lawrence, the only woman in the group, received 20 years but has had her sentence reduced by almost two years for good behaviour.
The review comes as another Australian was arrested last Friday with 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine at Bali’s airport, according to police and customs officials.
Michael Sacatides told officials he had been given a bag by an Indian friend in Bangkok and had no idea it contained drugs, according to investigators.Filed under: Headlines