News National No blood on our hands: AFP boss

No blood on our hands: AFP boss

Bali 9 AFP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

The Australian Federal Police will not bear responsibility if convicted drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are executed, the agency’s top cop Andrew Colvin says.

As 11th-hour appeals for the two men to be spared continued on Thursday, Mr Colvin revealed the AFP had for “many months” been attempting to leverage its considerable influence with police counterparts in Indonesia to push for the pair to be granted clemency.

The comments came as Prime Minister Tony Abbott called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to “pull back from this brink” and reconsider the decision to execute Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, sentenced in 2006 for their parts in a plot to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin from Bali to Australia.

· Executions ‘won’t be this week’
· Bishop proposes prisoner swap
· Intergenerational Report a farcical proposition

Mr Colvin, who was chief of staff to former commissioner Mick Keelty when the Bali Nine smuggling ring members were arrested in Indonesia in 2005, on Thursday insisted the AFP would bear no responsibility if the men are killed.

The AFP has been widely criticised for providing Indonesian counterparts with information that led to the arrests.

“Put simply, do we have blood on our hands? No,” Mr Colvin said on Thursday in Sydney.

“Put simply, were we part of a conspiracy for greater co-operation that I’ve seen written about? No.”

Officials are preparing for the executions of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.
Officials are preparing for the executions of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

The AFP commissioner said commentary about the role of the AFP in the arrests was “misinformed and misguided”.

“I’m prepared to say that much of the information that has been circulating in recent weeks doesn’t … accurately reflect the work that we did in 2005, and unfortunately it ignores the findings of several reviews … that have since scrutinised the AFP’s actions,” he said.

“There is no utility in me going through that again now at such a critical, difficult time for the diplomatic efforts.”

He said there had “a considerable amount done from the AFP’s perspective” in terms of efforts to appeal for Chan and Sukumaran to be spared.

The commissioner has written to his Indonesian counterpart.

“We do have good relationships and we do have influence, and where possible we are using that influence through those soft diplomacy skills to try and bring about a different outcome,” he said.

Chan and Sukumaran were transferred to Nusakambangan on Wednesday, the island off central Java where, along with eight others, the two men are set to be shot by firing squad.

Mr Abbott on Thursday questioned how it could be in Indonesia’s interest “to kill these men who are a credit to the Indonesian penal system’s capacity to rehabilitate”.


View Comments