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The illusion of freedom fooled Bali mules
"After all, Lawrence had done this once before"

The terrifying last moments of freedom for two drug runners are revealed in this edited extract from One-way Ticket, The Untold Story of the Bali 9 by CINDY WOCKNER and MADONNA KING.

RENAE Lawrence and Martin Stephens turned to each other, smiled and shook hands.

They'd done it. Or so they thought. It was the performance of their lives and everyone seemed to have fallen for it, right from the moment they climbed out of their taxi in front of Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport.

They had looked just like everyone else, holiday-weary and sunburnt, as they grabbed their bags and headed for the queue to check in to their Australian Airlines flight back to Sydney and their homes.

Lawrence and Stephens hadn't even picked out the clothes they wore now - someone else had done that for them. Just like someone else had dressed them, plastering chunks of heroin on to their thighs and torsos with cheap adhesive tape. But no one else knew that. No one was watching them. They were fitting in just fine.

It was just a few minutes past 8pm on Sunday, April 17, 2005.

Climbing out of the taxi, Stephens and Lawrence were careful to carry their own bags. They didn't fidget or look nervous, their self-assurance strong that their secret was safe. After all, Lawrence had done this once before just six months ago, she told police - and nothing had gone wrong; the $10,000 bonus she received at the other end proof she had survived the few nerves that surfaced every now and again.

Together, the Sydneysiders walked purposefully through the doors of the big international departure terminal. Once inside, they dumped their bags on the big X-ray conveyor belt . . . a dog sat at the other end - a dog trained to sniff out those who broke Indonesia's tough drug laws.

Lawrence and Stephens knew they had to walk past the dog without it picking up the scent of the wads of heroin strapped to their bodies. At that time they didn't know how much was taped to them, or what it was worth. They did, however, know it was a risk; a life-threatening one.

They wandered past the canine. If they were nervous, they hid it well.

Lawrence and Stephens chatted, taking their place at the popular Qantas/Australian Airlines check-in counter.

The canine reappeared, its handlers ensuring not much space was left between the two Australian travellers and their dog. But still nothing.

Not a whiff.

Lawrence and Stephens walked towards the escalator. Twice they'd been tested, and neither had folded. No alert. No alarm. No suspicion. And that's when they turned and smiled conspiratorially at each other.

They had made it, their handshake an intimate sign of victory that their secret was safe. Onwards and upwards from here, across the skies that joined Australia and its back-yard island holiday destination. Without a hitch.

But it wasn't to be.

From the moment Lawrence and Stephens alighted - even before - their every movement was being tracked; surveillance teams who had spent the past four days watching them heralded their arrival.

The agents watched as the pair stepped out of their taxi disguised as tourists. Watched as they passed through the first security check, and by the customs dog that guarded it.

Customs officers Gede Senopati and Ketut Sumarka strode towards Renae Lawrence and Martin Stephens. It was time to act.

"I am a Customs officer. Would you follow me.

"We want to check your luggage, your hand-carry luggage and your body."

* One-way Ticket, The Untold Story of the Bali 9, by Cindy Wockner and Madonna King, HarperCollins Publishers.

Bali 9 Case Information - Schapelle Corby Case Information

No saving Bali kingpins: new envoy
By Annabelle McDonald - March 07, 2006

INDONESIA'S new ambassador to Australia has warned it is unlikely the Howard Government could save Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the firing squad if their legal appeals fail.

Teuku Mohammad Hamzah Thayeb said the Indonesian Government would be unwilling to intervene to overturn last month's death sentence for heroin trafficking if Australia made a clemency plea, because it would compromise the judiciary's independence.

In his first public speech since his appointment to Canberra three months ago, Mr Thayeb said the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia was "at its highest peak ever", highlighting the "legendary" co-operation between the Australian Federal Police and the Indonesian National Police.

"Australia does not give the death sentence, so I can understand why your Government would ask for clemency," Mr Thayeb told the Queensland branch of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in Brisbane yesterday.

"But in a country that is just forming itself democratically, we cannot now intervene nor interfere in the judicial process ... the judiciary is totally independent."

The ambassador brushed off claims by 43 Papuan asylum-seekers, who travelled to Cape York in a canoe in late January, that they would be persecuted if they were returned to Indonesia.

"What they claim is that they are being persecuted, even genocide - they mentioned that word. Genocide in this 21st century - I don't think that is the way of doing things," he said.

"Nor are they being persecuted. They are not even on the wanted list of our national police."

Mr Thayeb, a Paris-born 53-year-old father of three, arrived in Australia in early December, replacing former ambassador Imron Cotan, who was recalled early to take a senior post in the foreign ministry.

Mr Thayeb was Indonesia's director for the Asia-Pacific before coming to Australia last year, about 30 years after he started his career as a PR officer for ASEAN. Since then, he has been the director for international security and disarmament, worked for the Indonesian Government in New York and has served twice at the UN.

Despite a "very positive period" for Indonesia, Mr Thayeb said the country was still experiencing problems with communal tensions, religious radicalism and terrorism.

"It would be naive of me to paint you a rosy picture about Indonesia today when there is still more work that needs to be done. But I am very optimistic on the progress Indonesia has made so far.

"Indonesia and Australia will continue to forge close partnerships between our police forces, immigration and Customs officials, as well as security and intelligence agencies."

He said co-operation between the two police services was "particularly encouraging, if not legendary to some quarters", in tackling terrorism.

Bali 9 Case Information - Schapelle Corby Case Information

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