Limits on co-operation

Some of the Bali Nine are facing the death penalty for drug trafficking in Indonesia. They are unlikely to elicit the same sympathy as Schapelle Corby – and we all know some of the major reasons behind this support – but has Australia crossed a line by providing information to Indonesian authorities that could lead to Australian citizens being executed?

Law Council of Australia president John North thinks so. The nation’s peak law body today criticised the Federal Police and the government for building a case against the nine despite protocol and the law dictating support not be given if the death penalty is the ultimate outcome.

“The AFP would clearly know that drug smuggling in Indonesia in cases like these carries the death penalty,” North said. “If they know that they are in Indonesia and they are going to get charged, then they are going to get shot.”

Is Australia sacrificing long cherished and proper legal channels in the name of forging closer ties with Jakarta? It’s hard to conclude otherwise.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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