Thursday, 6 March 2008

'Bali nine' trio's death sentences overturned

Sydney man Matthew Norman and the rest of the 'Malasti three' previously had their sentences increased to the death penalty.

Three of the 'Bali nine' drug couriers have had their death sentences reduced to life in jail.

Matthew Norman, Thanh Duc Tan Nguyen and Si Yi Chen were known as the 'Malasti three' because they were arrested in a hotel of that name on April 17, 2005.

The trio had their sentences increased to the death penalty by Indonesia's Supreme Court in August of 2006.

Now, a different panel of judges within the same Supreme Court has decided on their final appeal, known as judicial reviews, and reduced their death sentences to life imprisonment.

The decision is also positive for fellow drug courier Scott Rush, who is yet to lodge his final appeal.

Rush given fresh hope in death penalty fight

A lawyer for convicted drug smuggler Scott Rush hopes he will be spared the death penalty now that three fellow members of the 'Bali nine' have had their sentences reduced to life in prison.

Six of the 'Bali nine' were facing death by firing squad in Indonesia, but now Si Yi Chen, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen and Matthew Norman, who were arrested in Bali's Melasti hotel with a quantity of heroin in 2005, have had their death sentences reduced to life in prison by Indonesia's Supreme Court.

Three 'Bali nine' members still face the death penalty, including the group's ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, as well as Rush, the only drug mule still sentenced to death.

He is represented by Darwin-based QC Colin McDonald, who is hopeful about Rush's case.

"Scott's case is even better than the 'Melasti three'," he said.

Rush has not yet filed his final appeal.

Rush's father, Lee, says the success of the appeal is a good opportunity for his son, but the family is remaining cautious.

"Definitely, I think there's an opportunity there, but we're dealing with the unknown," he said.

"We've had them up before and you go down again. So we don't want to get our hopes up."

Fight for life: Scott Rush behind bars


Conference/Prison/Restorative Justice/Human Rights

Discovering Balance - Prison Reform, Restorative Justice & Human Rights
2nd to 4th October 2008
Murdoch University, South Street Campus, Western Australia

The Institute for Restorative Justice & Penal Reform together with the Centre for Social & Community Research at Murdoch University is organising and hosting ‘Discovering Balance…’, an international conference to explore issues relating to penal reform, restorative justice and human rights. The conference will include presentations, discussions, and workshops covering a wide range of topics and issues including the impact of imprisonment on individuals and communities, restorative justice processes as an alternative to adversarial approaches, and the concept of restorative prisons.

Key Themes and Plenary Sessions
Prisoner rehabilitation•
Victims’ rights and restorative processes•
Human rights in custodial settings•
Indigenous Australians and the criminal justice system•
Restorative prisons•
Restorative justice processes and juveniles•
Restorative processes and human rights in a punitive society•
Prison reform, the media and the public•

Confirmed Speakers
Professor Andrew Coyle
International Centre for Prison Studies, Kings College, London
Baroness Vivien Stern
International Centre for Prison Studies, Kings College, London
Professor John Pratt
Institute of Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ

The conference organising committee is interested in receiving abstracts or proposals for presentations from a wide range of delegates including activists, researchers, academics, interested individuals, community organisations, and students. Further details will be available shortly, however paper abstracts/proposals will be restricted to 150 words or less.
More information about the conference including details about presentation format, key dates, and abstract submission and registration procedures will be available from the conference web site.
For updates about the conference visit
or email Theo Mackaay at

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