Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry at vigil for Bali nine duo

A Supreme Court judge who this month visited the Bali nine duo on death row says they have completely redeemed themselves in prison.
Nanjing Night Net

Justice Lex Lasry, who visited Australian men Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran while in Bali over the last three weeks, spoke at a vigil for the pair outside the County Court on Wednesday.

“When I have been there over the years, I have witnessed their courage. I have seen them with their families and their supporters. These are two remarkable young men and their lives are valuable,” Justice Lasry said.

“This morning you are here because you support these two men and because you recognise the tragedy that it would be for them to be executed after almost 10 years of complete redemption.”

About 500 of Melbourne’s legal fraternity observed a minute’s silence for the pair, including Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, County Court Chief Judge Michael Rozenes and a number of magistrates. Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, QC, was also at the vigil, which was hosted by the Law Institute of Victoria.

Justice Lasry previously represented Australian man Nguyen Tuong Van – who was convicted of drug trafficking and executed in Singapore in 2005 – before he joined the bench. He has also spoken in defence of Chan and Sukumaran on social media network Twitter.

The judge’s speech followed Indonesian Attorney-General HM Prasetyo’s announcement on Tuesday that Chan and Sukumaran’s transfer to the island of Nusakambangan would be postponed and would no longer take place this week. Justice Lasry said this provided a “glimmer of hope” their executions could be avoided “and they can be given the chance to live and to continue to serve Indonesia in Kerobokan Prison in the way that they have been doing for years”.

“Let’s hope that with more work and more reasoned argument and discussion the lives of these men can be spared.”

Justice Lasry said the pair would now have more time to pursue their scheduled hearing in the Administrative Court on Tuesday and the Australian government could continue to make their case to the Indonesian government on their behalf. “It gives Indonesia clear air to seek to rescue their citizens on death row internationally.”

Chan and Sukumaran’s families were very moved by support they had received from Australia, Justice Lasry said: “There is no question but that it helps them cope their most difficult and uncertain situation.”

Mr Dreyfus told Fairfax Media: “Along with every other Australian, I think we’re hoping that the Indonesian government will show mercy towards these two men.”

Anti-death penalty campaigner and former science minister in the Hawke government, Barry Jones, said he was deeply concerned about the “ambiguous role” of the Australian Federal Police in Chan and Sukumaran’s case.

The AFP, he said, needed to reconsider their guidelines so that police did not pass on information that led to Australians being arrested in other countries for offences that carried the death penalty.

“They could have been apprehended either leaving Australia or when they arrived in Australia,” Mr Jones said. “Because it’s our practice not to extradite people to a death penalty jurisdiction it seems inconceivable to me that … we pass the information on so that they can be arrested and tried in a death penalty jurisdiction. That’s very troubling as a matter of public policy.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.