Once again the opponents of the death penalty allege
that the Australian Federal Police have “blood on their hands” in the Bali Nine case. This nonsense should be dismissed

Everyone agrees that the AFP acted lawfully in their
dealings with the Indonesian police. This issue was unsuccessfully litigated by
Lawrence, Czugaj and Stevens
in our Federal Court in

The argument comes down to a moral question: should
Australia in general (and the AFP in
particular) give any assistance whatsoever to an investigation into an
Australian citizen by foreign police where the Australian could be sentenced to

In S-E Asia, virtually
all countries have the death penalty for serious drug offences, terrorism and
murder. The USA has the death penalty for murder
and terrorism. Our “multicultural” society needs to learn that in other
countries there are different cultures and legal systems to ours and that we should
respect that.

There are four main arguments in support of the AFP. First,
respect towards other countries and their cultures. Second, we need
international cooperation in criminal investigation. Third, heroin is imported
and it is important to interdict it en route which can best be done in
S-E Asia. Fourth, terrorism is international
and we need full cooperation.

Finally, the Bali Nine
took their chances and lost. Maybe two of them will lose their lives. I would
rather see those two die in Bali than the hundreds (or maybe thousands) of young
Australian addicts who would have died in the gutter in Australia if this importation had
been successful.

A majority of Australians supported the hanging of Van
Nguyen. They will similarly support the executions in Bali. And they are right to do

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey