Today we see that the news is full of reactions to eight executions that took place in the early hours of this morning (29th April 2015). Two of the condemned Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were arrested in 2005 as part of a group which came to be known as the ‘Bali Nine’. They attempted to smuggle heroin from Bali to Australia, and were caught.
Public and political interest and pressure in this story has been growing in recent weeks, and it may be a surprise to learn that it has been developing for a decade. This post will look at the time line of the events around the ‘Bali Nine’ and how it came to such a devastating conclusion this morning.
April 2005 – Nine Australians were arrested in Bali, on suspicion of smuggling 8.3 kgs of heroin out of Indonesia. Martin Stephens, Renae Lawrence, Scott Rush, Michael Czugaj, Si Yi Chen, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Matthew Norman, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
August 2005 – The Australian Federal Police admit that the Indonesian police force had acted on information supplied by Australian authorities. It was claimed that this was a breach of the bilateral agreement, as such information should only be released by the Attorney General.
October 2005 – The trials begin in Indonesian Court.
February 2006 – Sentences are handed down. Seven of the nine are sentenced to life imprisonment. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are sentenced to death by firing squad.
February 2006 – Appeals are lodged against the sentences.
September 2006 – Four of the seven life imprisonment sentences are shockingly increased to death by firing squad. The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, refuses to intervene at this time.
January 2007 – Further legal challenges and appeals are raised.
July 2007 – John Howard raises the issue of the Bali Nine for the first time with the Indonesian Prime Minister.
May 2012 – By now, only Chan and Sukumaran are facing the death sentence, reviews and appeals have seen the others revised down to life imprisonment. Chan and Sukumaran appeal for clemency.
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