Bali Nine ‘bribed for their lives’

The Indonesian judges who sentenced Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to death row offered lighter sentences in exchange for bribes, their legal team have alleged.

The claims were made in a letter sent to Indonesia’s Judicial Commission on Friday, which called for an investigation in a last-ditch attempt to save the men.
Chan and Sukumaran would have received “a lighter sentence than the death penalty” if they were “given a sum of money”, the legal team said.

The two men were arrested in 2005 in Bali as part of a heroin trafficking plot along with seven other Australians and are expected to be executed by firing squad in coming days or weeks.

• 150,000 signatures for clemency
• Executions will trigger outpouring of grief
• Heartfelt pleas in Parliament for Bali duo

The pair’s former lawyer Muhammad Rifan told the media last week that there had been “interference” in the original case and that he was willing to reveal information that would damage his legal reputation in order to save his previous clients.

The letter from the men’s lawyers also claimed that the six judges presiding over the case were “pressured from certain parties” to give the death sentence.

They will meet with Indonesia’s Attorney-General HM Prasetyo on Monday to ask for the executions to be delayed while they pursue further legal challenges.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned of a tough diplomatic response if the men were killed, although he refused to say if Australia’s ambassador would be recalled.

Millions of Australians have been sickened by the sentence, he said, admitting that “we are at the 11th hour.”

“If it’s right for Indonesia to ask and expect some kind of clemency, it’s surely right for us to ask and expect [the same],” Mr Abbot said.

On Monday morning, Australian embassy officials in Jakarta will be briefed by Indonesian officials on execution procedures — another sign that the killings are imminent.

Kerobokan prison governor Sudjonggo told reporters he is ready for the transfer “any time, any day”.

He said Chan and Sukumaran, who are considered leaders in the prison for their tireless work to help the rehabilitation and welfare of others, seemed somewhat resigned to the executions.

“They have surrendered even though there’s still legal efforts going on,” he said on Sunday.

Last week, both the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Shadow Foreign Minister Tanya Plibersek condemned the death sentences in Parliament and appealed for mercy.

Chan and Sukumaran’s families continue to plead for their lives.

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