ACT News

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell joins Australian peers in plea for Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

ACT attorney general  Simon Corbell has joined government leaders from across Australia in a last-minute plea to urge the Indonesian government not to execute Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

It comes as Australian officials were called to attend the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, a move which could indicate the executions are due to take place in the coming week.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing the firing squad in Indonesia.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing the firing squad in Indonesia.  

All Australian state and territory attorneys-general, except for Queensland due to its current change of government, have signed a letter asking for clemency for the Australian pair who were arrested on drug smuggling charges in 2005.

Mr Corbell said he wanted to reiterate the importance of clemency for the Bali Nine, particularly in the light of their rehabilitation.

"The death penalty robs us of the capacity to show forgiveness," he said.

"With the decision being taken now in Indonesia I thought it was appropriate to join with my fellow attorneys-general to restate the importance of rehabilitation and forgiveness and ask the government of Indonesia to reconsider their decision."


In the letter, the leaders call for Chan and Sukumaran's sentences to be commuted in light of Indonesia's successful rehabilitation efforts.

Mr Corbell said his thoughts were with the family and friends of Chan and Sukumaran as they waited to find out what would happen.

"No one would want to see their children, their brother or their sister in this situation," he said.

"These men made mistakes. The must be punished for their crimes and they have been through an extended period of prison during which they have demonstrates significant steps to rehabilitate themselves and become better people.

"I think all of those matters are things which should be taken into account by Indonesian authorities."

Mr Corbell said he was hopeful for the release of Chan and Sukumaran despite the ongoing refusal of Indonesian authorities to grant clemency.

"Until the execution proceeds there is always hope and I think that is the spirit in which I and the other attorneys-general have put our names to this letter," he said.

"As long as they are alive there is hope and we should not delay or ignore any opportunity to save their lives and help stave off these executions."