Final Bali 9 Hearing To Be Held Today As Julie Bishop “Offers To Pay” For Duo

Australia’s biggest and polarising news story of 2015 has to be that of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two leaders behind the Bali Nine drug ring arrested in 2005 – ten full years will have passed since their arrest next month. While “Final Pleas” and “Final Appeals” seem to pop up in headlines too often to make each one’s degree of finality serious, an appeal is being lodged today in Indonesia against President Joko Widodo‘s rejection of the duo’s celmency bid in February. The hearing will be the last of its kind before Chan and Sukumaran face a firing squad on ‘Execution Island’ Nusakambangan in Indonesia.  

Chan and Sukumaran will not even be attending the hearing at the State Administrative Court in Jakarta today while an appeal against Widodo’s February decision is heard. 

According to, the Australian pair’s lawyer will argue that Widodo’s decision was too broad-of-a-stroke to have taken Chan and Sukumaran’s individual cases seriously: Widodo rejected clemency bids for all inmates on death row (64) at once. The Bali Nine duo’s lawyer will appeal to have the decision reconsidered in light of the pair’s widely-confirmed rehabilitation, which—if successful—will force Widodo to provide a specific reason for the rejection of the duo’s clemency bid.

“I think as a matter of justice, Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have the right to know why the clemency petition was rejected,” the pair’s layer Todung Muyla Lubis told News Corp.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop has reportedly made a package offer to her Indonesian counterpart by the way of a letter, offering both a ‘prisoner swap’—which was rejected last week by Joko Widodo with a blunt, “No way”—and an offer for the Australian government to pay for Chan and Sukumaran’s life imprisonment fees in Indonesia if their government places the pair off death row. “The Australian government would be prepared to cover the costs of the ongoing life imprisonment of Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran should a transfer not be possible,” Bishop wrote, according to SMH.

Chan and Sukumaran’s Australian lawyer Peter Morrissey described the offer as “attractive” but expressed doubt at Indonesian officials taking up the bargain.

Chan and Sukumaran will be given 72 hours notice once a date has been set for their execution if today’s appeal is also rejected. 

On Tuesday, a Nigerian man who joins Chan and Sukumaran on death row in Indonesia from a drug charge in 1998 has had a similar appeal rejected. Raheem Agbaje Salami also argued that his rejection of clemency was not considered seriously by Joko Widodo. The appeal was rejected on the same day it arrived in court. 

Yesterday, an Indonesian politician threatened of a “human tsunami” of refugees against Australia if the government did not back down on its eleventh hour pleas for the bali nine duo.

Lead image by Lisa Maree Williams via Getty.