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Dad of 'Bali 9' defendant tipped off cops
DARWIN, Australia, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The father of one of nine Australians charged with heroin smuggling in Indonesia says he tipped off police about his son in an effort to save him.

Scott Rush and eight co-defendants go on trial next week in Bali. They could face execution by firing squad if they are convicted.

Rush and the only woman in the group, Renae Lawrence, argue the Australian Federal Police violated Australian law by assisting Indonesian agents in their investigation, The Australian reported. The law bars Australia from assisting in foreign prosecutions if the defendant could be executed.

In court papers filed Friday in Darwin, Rush's lawyers said his father told police about his son, hoping they would stop him from leaving Australia. Lee Rush became suspicious when he found out his son was planning to travel to Bali.

A lawyer for Lee Rush said he and his wife blame themselves for their son's arrest.

Bali 9 files
By CINDY WOCKNER - September 28, 2005


Dossier ... the file on the Bali Nine that was handed over to the court yesterday
POLICE surveillance photographs of the Bali Nine in a hotel pool hours before their arrest are contained in the evidence that could send them to the firing squad.

The Daily Telegraph can now reveal the details of the conspiracy that led the youngsters to try to smuggle 8.65kg of heroin out of Bali and land them on death row.

The evidence also contains details of all the phone calls between them.

Prosecutors yesterday officially handed the material to the Denpasar District Court, signalling that the group has now been officially charged. Trials will follow within a month.

The file on Andrew Chan, one of the two alleged ringleaders, along with Myuran Sukumaran, is almost twice the size of the rest testament to the important role police believe he played.

The files also say the mules were forced by threats of violence to put their lives on the line.

They also confirm the involvement of a 22-year-old Thai woman, Cherry Likit Bannakorn, alias Pina, who delivered the heroin to Bali but slipped through a police dragnet a day after the Bali Nine were arrested.

A taxi driver, Dewa Gede Risdana Mesi, said in a statement that he delivered her to Kuta Seaview Cottages, where she met Chan. She was carrying a suitcase.

The surveillance photographs show Scott Rush and Michael Czugaj relaxing in the swimming pool of the Hotel Aneka in Kuta a week before their arrests.

Another shows Chan and Sukumaran on a staircase at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Indonesian prosecutors will allege that Chan met with Lawrence, Stephens, Chen, and Norman at the Roselands shopping centre in Sydney in March "to plan the sending of the package of heroin from Bali to Australia".

The indictment says: "During that time the accused (Chan) gave Lawrence $2080 to finance the transportation and accommodation during the time in Bali."

In the parking lot of a KFC near the Formule 1 Hotel in Enfield, Sukumaran gave Lawrence $500 and a Nokia mobile phone, and the next day, the other members of the group $3000, the indictment continues.

Each of the nine faces up to five different charges, three of which carry the death penalty.

Each faces one primary charge of attempting to export drugs as part of an organisation, which carries the death penalty as the maximum penalty.

They also face a series of subsidiary charges involving export of drugs and exporting as part of a criminal conspiracy.

The less serious charge, which is the last subsidiary charge, carries a maximum 10-year sentence for drug possession.

The Bali Nine, who are now all held in Kerobokan jail, were arrested on April 17.

The four alleged mules Renae Lawrence, 27, Martin Stephens, 29, Michael Czugaj, 20, and Scott Rush, 19 were arrested at Bali airport with 8.65kg of heroin strapped to their bodies.

They were about to board a flight bound for Sydney.

Andrew Chan, 21, was arrested at the airport at the same time, but did not have any heroin on him.

The other four Sukumaran, 24, Matthew Norman, now 19, Si Yi Chen, 20, and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, 27 were arrested in a room of the Melasti Beach Bungalows, earning themselves the moniker, the Melasti Four.

Also found in the hotel was 350g of heroin.

Father alerted police about Bali Nine
Oct 8, 2005

When the father of one of the Bali Nine sought help from Australian Federal Police to stop his son committing a drug crime in Indonesia, he unwittingly triggered the arrest of the whole group, a lawyer said on Saturday.

Fearing his son Scott would be arrested during a trip to Bali in mid-April, Lee Rush asked federal police to stop him leaving Australia, Scott's Indonesian lawyer Robert Kuana said.

However, instead of keeping a promise to intercept the Brisbane teenager, the AFP tipped off Indonesian authorities, who put him and eight co-accused under surveillance and arrested them red-handed on April 17, Kuana said.

They are facing the death penalty on charges of conspiring to export heroin from Bali to Sydney.

Scott was arrested at Denpasar airport along with three others allegedly carrying between 1.3 and 2.9kg of heroin strapped to their bodies as they prepared to board a Sydney-bound plane.

Accused gang enforcer Andrew Chan was arrested on board the plane with no drugs on him.

Another four, including the alleged ringleader, Sydney man Myuran Sukumaran, were arrested at a Kuta hotel.

The nine are scheduled to face Denpasar District Court next week in a series of seven separate trials.

Asked if Lee Rush's approach to the AFP led to the arrest of the whole group, Kuana said, "Yes. I think so, Yes."

He said Rush had a bad feeling about Scott's trip because of the recent arrest of several other Australians on drugs charges in Bali.

"He's trying to protect his son, what can he do? He call his lawyer," Kuana said after visiting Scott with his parents at Kerobokan jail.

The Rush's would not speak to journalists. News of their attempt to stop Scott leaving Australia has cast doubt on previous claims that the four alleged mules were innocent victims of a drug gang.

Lawyers for the four have claimed they tried to pull out of the operation but were threatened that their families would be killed if they did.

Kuana said Scott's parents sought AFP help in preventing his arrest after he disappeared for a week in early April.

During that time, a travel agent left a message on their answering machine that Scott's ticket to Bali was ready.

Alarmed that Scott was planning the trip without informing them, Lee Rush approached the AFP through a friend, lawyer Robert Meyers.

Meyers asked a friend in the drugs section of the AFP to help. The officer allegedly said he would warn Scott he was under surveillance, to deter him from committing any crime.

No warning ever came, Kuana said.

"The parents think there is no action from the Australian Federal Police to stop him ,even though they told police before Scott even picked up his plane ticket," Kuana said.

The AFP's controversial role in the group's arrest is now the basis of an application before the Federal Court in Darwin.

Scott and co-accused Renae Lawrence, 27 of Newcastle, have launched action against the AFP for alleged "denial of procedural fairness".

They claim the AFP provided assistance to Indonesian police that led to their arrest in Bali, exposing them to the death penalty.

Under a treaty between Indonesia and Australia, such assistance was illegal, they claim.

Kuana said he hoped the Bali judges would consider the Federal Court application when hearing Scott's case.

However, Lawrence's lawyer Haposan Sihombing said he would probably object if prosecutors tried to present the application as evidence in relation to defence claims that the four accused were unwitting couriers.

In order for Bali prosecutors to call Lee Rush as a possible witness, they would have to show the court that they had new, relevant evidence.

"We can say that there is no chance of new witnesses," Sihombing said.

"If they try to call Scott's father, we can object." Prosecutors were not available for comment.

AFP border and international national manager Frank Prendergast has defended the conduct of officials.

"The AFP can confirm that it became aware of contact made by the family of Scott Rush to a Queensland police officer after the commencement of an Indonesian national police investigation in Bali," Prendergast said in a statement.

"During the course of investigations relating to the disruption of a drug importation syndicate and the arrest of individuals allegedly involved, the AFP acted appropriately at all times and in accordance with legal and police regulations."

Prendergast said international cooperation between law enforcement agencies was essential in combating transnational crime.

"If Australia was only to work cooperatively with countries that have identical judicial systems to ours the AFP would not be able to effectively combat transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, people smuggling, terrorism and child sex tourism," he said.

Indonesia cops: we don't need AFP help

The Bali Nine ... from top to bottom rows, left to right: Matthew Norman, 18, Renae Lawrence, 27, Myuran Sukumaran, 24, Andrew Chan, 21, Scott Rush, 19, Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen, 27, Martin Stephens, 29, Michael Czugaj, 19 and Si Yi Chen, 20.

Indonesian authorities say they won't need Australian police officers to testify in court to get the Bali nine before a firing squad.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today withdrew co-operation in the case, saying it was standing Australian policy not to assist in foreign death penalty cases.

Indonesian police arrested the nine in Bali in April after a tip-off from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Bali drug squad chief Colonel Bambang Sugiarto said testimony from AFP officers would not be required in court.

"No problem ... their statements are not important according to the law," he said.

Indonesian prosecutors yesterday handed over case files to the Denpasar District Court, clearing the way for seven trials to begin next month.

The files contain evidence gathered by AFP agents against the eight men and one woman who all face drug charges that carry the death penalty.

But Mr Ruddock said: "We will not provide co-operation in relation to criminal matters unless there is an assurance that a death penalty will not be sought.

"If there was further information that had to be obtained from here through the Australian Federal Police, we would seek an assurance that Indonesia would not be wanting a death penalty in each of those cases," he told reporters in Hobart.

In Perth, Justice Minister Chris Ellison later confirmed that any request for assistance from Indonesia would have to be made under the two countries' Mutual Assistance Treaty, and require the death penalty to be taken off the table.

"Wherever an Australian faces the death penalty, we pull out all stops to make a plea on their behalf for that not to be carried out,'' Senator Ellison said.

Colonel Sugiarto's assessment was backed by the prosecutor Ni Putu Indriati, who will act in defendant Renae Lawrence's case.

"In the document, there are no AFP as witnesses, only a letter from the AFP explaining there were Australians who wanted to export narcotics,'' she said.

She said the withholding of Australian assistance would not affect the case.

Four of the nine Australians - detained at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport in April allegedly with blocks of heroin weighing between 1.3 and 2.9 kilograms strapped to their bodies - will each be tried separately.

The four are Wollongong man Martin Stephens, 29, Brisbane duo Michael Czugaj and Scott Rush, both 19, and Lawrence, 27, from Newcastle.

The so-called gang enforcer Andrew Chan, 21, of Sydney, will be tried individually, as will the accused mastermind of the gang, Myuran Sukumaran, 24, also from Sydney.

Three others - Brisbane man Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen, 27, and Sydney pair Si Yi Chen, 20, and Matthew James Norman, 18 - who were arrested with Sukumaran at the Melasti Hotel in Kuta, will be tried together.

The hotel raid, launched with the help of Australian Federal Police, allegedly netted 300 grams of heroin divided between two small bags.

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