Robert McJannett claims he had to pay $70,000 to be freed from Kerobokan Prison.
Robert McJannett claims he had to pay $70,000 to be freed from Kerobokan Prison. Chris Calcino

Andrew Chan ‘saved my life’: former inmate

A FORMER inmate who did prison time with Andrew Chan said the Bali Nine ringleader saved his life in jail.

He also claimed he had to pay $70,000 to be freed from Kerobokan Prison.

Protesters gathered outside the Indonesian consulate in Sydney heard from former prison inmate Robert McJannett, who served time with Chan in the Bali prison.

Mr McJannett, a former Australian soldier, was jailed in 2009 after being caught with a small amount of marijuana in his luggage at Denpasar Airport.

He said he would have died in jail if Chan had not looked after him.

"I watched him help many other prisoners and other members of the Bali Nine who were not well, or needed help," Mr McJannett said

"He's the epitome of reform, and they want to kill him."

Mr McJannett also claimed he had to pay to be released from jail.

"Pretty much any Western prisoner that went through the Kerobokan-Bali justice system has not had a fair trial," he said.

Hundreds gathered in Sydney and in other cities across Australia to protest the executions of the two ringleaders of the Bali Nine drug smuggling group.

As they met, Senator Nick Xenophon also urged Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to fly to Jakarta in a final bid to save Myuran Sukumaran's and Chan's lives.

Calls for mercy as Bali Nine supporters gather at consulate

HUNDREDS of supporters are expected to gather in cities across Australia during vigils protesting the executions of the two ringleaders of the Bali Nine drug smuggling group.

Last-minute allegations of an Indonesian court "auctioning off" the lives of Australian Bali Nine drug smugglers have surfaced from the men's former lawyer, Mohammad Rifan, who has accused the judges who sentenced the duo to death of asking for more than $130,000 to give them a sentence of less than 20 years.

Senator Nick Xenophon has urged Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to fly to Jakarta to make one final bid to save Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan's lives.

"Now it is alleged the judges held an auction for the lives of these two young men," Mr Xenophon said.

"It is alleged when the money could not be raised in full, the death sentences were handed down."

Mr Xenophon pleaded with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to postpone the death sentences until the country's Judicial Commission had investigated the allegations.

Crowds gather outside the Indonesian Consulate in Sydney calling for mercy.
Crowds gather outside the Indonesian Consulate in Sydney calling for mercy. Chris Calcino

The commission had still not responded to Mr Rifan's claims today.

"I think we should still hold out some hope, some desperate last-minute hope that the Judicial Commission will do the right thing," Mr Xenophon said.

He said the former lawyer showed great courage by going public with the corruption allegations on the eve of the execution.

"I fear for his life," Mr Xenophon said.

Chan and Sukumaran are expected to be killed by firing squad after midnight on Wednesday.

Images have emerged of a mortician inscribing their names and Wednesday's date onto crosses.

They were formally given 72 hours' notice of their executions on Anzac Day, despite Ms Bishop's request it not be made on Australia's day of remembrance.

Both refused to sign their death warrants.

Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Firdia Lisnawati, File

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a vigil outside the Indonesian consulate in Sydney tonight.

Ms Bishop said she would continue to urge Indonesia to lift the death sentence, but said all efforts so far had been in vain.

"Publicly I've called on the president of Indonesia to reconsider his refusal to grant clemency and I do not believe it is too late for a change of heart," she said.

"We ask no more of Indonesia than it has asked of other nations where Indonesian citizens are on death row, including for serious drug offences."

'Bali Nine judges asked for $130k to waive death penalty'

THE former lawyer of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has outlined explosive allegations of corruption by the judges that sentenced the Bali nine duo to death, saying they asked for more than $130,000 to give them a prison term of less than 20 years.

But Bali-based attorney Muhammad Rifan says a deal fell through after the judges later told him they had been ordered by senior legal and government members in Jakarta to impose a death penalty.

The judges, it is alleged, then asked for an even greater sum for a lighter sentence, money Mr Rifan did not have.

The sensational claims by Mr Rifan that the initial trial of the pair was deeply corrupted were revealed by a joint investigation by Fairfax Media and the former host of SBS' Dateline program Mark Davis, a Gold Walkley-winning journalist.

It comes on the eve of the execution of the two Australians, who have been told they will die at midnight on Tuesday, or soon after.

More on this at Brisbanetimes.com.au


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