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Executed Indonesia Convicts 'Reporting the drug offenders to Indonesia was agonising' - Australian police chief

He said when he made the decision, protecting Australians from drugs was at the forefront of his mind, not Australia's relationship with Indonesia.

  • Published:
play Australian Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin (ABC)
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Australian police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan, who made the decision to share information on the executed Bali 9 with Indonesia, has said the decision has caused him agony for 10 years.

He said when he made the decision, protecting Australians from drugs was at the forefront of his mind, not Australia's relationship with Indonesia.

Phelan made this known when addressing a news press conference.

Information shared by the AFP with Indonesian police in 2005 led to the arrest and conviction of the gang and the execution of the two Australian ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

play Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed alongside 5 other last Wednesday (BBC)

 

Based on this, police have been criticised for reporting the men despite knowing they could face the death penalty.

But senior officers said they were unable to arrest the gang before they left Australia for Indonesia, with  Commissioner Andrew Colvin saying "if we had had enough information to arrest the Bali Nine before they left Australia we would have done exactly that."

According to him, the AFP did not know how many members were in the gang or what drugs they were dealing with, which was why they contacted their Indonesian counterparts.

He further said that the media reports that the AFP found out about the gang from a tip-off from the father of one of the gang, were incorrect because the AFP already knew about the syndicate.

Speaking further on the case, he added that reports saying the AFP had "shopped" the gang to Indonesia in a bid to curry favour with police there were "fanciful and offensive".

He however admitted one of the investigating officers asked to be removed from the team because he was upset about the risk the gang members might face the death penalty.

Meanwhile BBC reports that the AFP will soon be called before a parliamentary committee to explain the decision.

Chan and Sukumaran were Australian drug leaders of the group known as the Bali 9 which included Nigerians; Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze, who were arrested in April 2005 at an airport and hotel in Bali, Indonesia after a tip-off from Australian police for trying to carry 8.3kg (18lb) of heroin back to Australia..

They were executed by firing squad on Wednesday April 29th despite numerous call by various governments and international bodies, especially the Australian government.

 

 

 

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