Bali Nine Man Loses Final Appeal
Bali Nine heroin-smuggling gang member Martin Stephens, 34, has lost a final Supreme Court appeal against his life sentence.
Crucially a court spokesman said a letter from former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty describing Stephens as a minor player in the plot could not be used as evidence.
Keelty has also written a letter in the same terms in relation to another Bali Nine gang member, Scott Rush, who is appealing against his death sentence for the crime.
Stephens was sentenced to life in prison after being caught trying to smuggle more than three kilograms of heroin out of Bali in April 2005.
After losing his first appeal he lodged a Supreme Court appeal, a judicial review, in August last year, arguing that he was not involved in organising the smuggling ring and should be given a more lenient sentence.
Supreme Court spokesman Djoko Sarwoko said on Thursday that there was “no confusion in the previous ruling.”
“There’s also no new evidence that can be used to help reduce his life sentence,” he added.
The three-judge Supreme Court appeal bench is expected to provide its reasons for rejecting the appeal next week.
Rush and fellow Kerobokan death row inmates Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are awaiting Supreme Court decisions on their own appeals.
The Bali Nine gang was arrested at Ngurah Rai International Airport in 2005 as they waited to board a flight to Australia. Bali Police arrested them on a tip-off from the Australian Federal Police.
Lawyers have argued that they were attempting to smuggle drugs out of Indonesia, not into the country, and should not be sentenced on the basis of illegal import of the heroin.Filed under: Headlines