Canberra [AAP, ABC and stuff.com.au]
Labor wants to know why the government is no longer directing federal police to consider the death penalty when it shares information with other agencies.
As pressure mounts on the Australian Federal Police to explain its role in tipping off Indonesia about the Bali Nine in 2005, Labor has written to the coalition demanding answers about dumping the death penalty requirement in ministerial directions.
Opposition justice spokesman David Feeney told ABC radio on Thursday the government must ensure Australians are not being put at risk of being subjected to the death penalty, following the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
It comes as the Brisbane-based lawyer for one of the Bali Nine described the executions as a ‘black day’ for the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and agreed to media questions that the AFP had ‘blood on its hands’.
Lawyer Bob Myers was asked by the father of jailed drug smuggler Scott Rush (Lee Rush), to call on the AFP to stop his son leaving Australia for Bali in April, 2005, when Rush suspected Scott’s involvement in the heroin importation plot.
Stuff.com.au reported that when Myers called his contact in the AFP, he discovered officers already had wind of the smuggling plot but instead of arresting the young Australians, it allowed them to leave the country.
It then tipped off its Indonesian counterparts.
Myers said the Australian police deliberately handed the group to Indonesian authorities, knowing they were subjecting the group to potential death by firing squad.
‘This is a black day for the AFP, a day they deliberately exposed nine Australians to the death penalty,’ he told media.
Asked if the AFP had blood on its hands over Chan’s and Sukumaran’s deaths on Wednesday morning, Myers replied, ‘of course they do’.
‘They knew of this plot, they knew of eight participants and they didn’t want to stop these people,’ he said.
‘They allowed these young people to leave, knowing full well of their intended crimes and they advised the Indonesian authorities knowing full well that death was inevitable.’ [stuff.com.nz]
Parliamentary secretary Kelly O’Dwyer said it was disappointing Labor was trying to score points off the back of the executions.
‘It really is beneath them,’ she told Sky News.
Ms O’Dwyer said the policies related to directing federal police to consider the death penalty when it shares information with other agencies had not changed.