June 6, 2006
Convicted Bali Nine drug courier Martin Stephens has filed an
appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court, claiming a disparity in the
High Court decision that upheld the life sentence given by a lower
In a dossier lodged to Denpasar District Court, Stephens said
the role he played in the failed heroin smuggling scheme was
similar to the other five Australian drug mules who had their life
sentences cut to 20 years in jail.
His appeal claims the decision showed there was a difference in
treatment of similar cases in the Indonesian judicial system.
The life jail terms of Renae Lawrence, Michael Czugaj, Tan Duc
Thanh Nguyen, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman were reduced to 20
years on appeal five weeks ago.
The High Court said the terms were cut because the five mules
played only minor roles in the conspiracy to smuggle 8.3kg of
heroin from Bali to Australia.
However, the life sentences of Stephens and Scott Rush were
Stephens was the only Bali Nine member to have his appeal
rejected and his life sentence upheld. Rush did not appeal.
The five who had their sentences reduced had the same panel of
judges, while another panel of judges handled the Stephens and Rush
Comparing the decision and judge format in his and Rush's case
to the other mules, Stephens said their roles in the failed venture
were exactly the same as Czugaj and Lawrence.
Stephens, like Rush, Lawrence, and Czugaj, was arrested at
Bali's Ngurah Rai airport on May 17 last year carrying blocks of
heroin strapped to his body.
Bali Nine masterminds Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were
sentenced to death, but no date has yet been set for their
Lawrence, the only woman among the Bali Nine, has accepted the
20-year prison verdict, with no challenge from the prosecutor.
Her official acceptance of the sentence on May 30 made her the
first of the Bali Nine to have an "einkracht" status, a Dutch term
meaning the case is closed and the decision is solid.
Click Here for Bali 9 Case Information