Prepared to 'take the heat' for Chan and Sukumaran

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    Former Bali Nine lawyer to reveal evidence that could form basis of new legal appeal

    February 7, 2015
    Jewel Topsfield and Amilia Rosa

    Prepared to 'take the heat' for Chan and Sukumaran: Mohamad Rifan leaves Kerobokan Prison in 2006.
    Photo: Jason Childs
    The former lawyer of the condemned Bali Nine duo, Mohamad Rifan, says he has evidence from the men's 2006 trial that could discredit him but form the basis of a new legal appeal.
    In an extraordinary statement after visiting the men inside Kerobokan prison, Mr Rifan said he was prepared to "take the heat" and provide the "never revealed evidence" to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's current lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis.
    "It's something that implicates us, it could discredit me. But for them I will take it. I told Myuran it's okay," Mr Rifan said cryptically. "It's one last thing I can do for them."
    He would not reveal what the evidence was and said he didn't know yet what Mr Mulya, a high profile human rights lawyer, would do with the information.
    "There's still time. Until the actual execution there is still time," he said.
    The Australian Embassy was informed last week that Chan and Sukumaran would be executed this month over their role in the foiled attempt to export 8.2 kilograms of heroin to Australia in 2005.
    Mr Rifan told reporters the men were supposed to get life imprisonment sentences in 2006 but the legal team believed there had been an "intervention".
    "The judges came to me after the sentencing and said the death penalty was not what they wanted," he said.
    Fairfax Media was unable to contact the judges who presided over the case at the time.
    In 2006, after prosecutors called for the death penalty for Sukumaran, Mr Rifan lashed out at Australia's role in the arrests. "One of the reasons my client is being charged with the death penalty is the letter from the Australian Federal Police. The AFP should be proud with an Australian citizen being charged in Bali because of their letter."
    The only evidence against Sukumaran came from the four mules, whose evidence should not have been admitted, Mr Rifan said at the time. He also complained he was not given adequate time to present a defence.
    On Saturday Mr Rifan said Chan and Sukumaran had changed and did not deserve to die.
    "There is no benefit for the Indonesian government to kill them. I am 100 per cent sure their execution will have no effect on the drugs industry. They were just foolish young boys who took a shortcut," he said.
    Mr Rifan said the two Australians were not the people who controlled the drugs industry but had been lured by promises of luxury by the drug leaders. "The big bosses who continue to run drugs behind bars, they need to be executed asap," Mr Rifan said. "Not (Chan and Sukumaran), they need to be given a second chance. They can see their mistake now. They are doing good. They are helping other prisoners."
    Mr Rifan said there was now a mix of political and legal interests, as there had been in 2006.
    "There was nothing like it in the SBY government, but we are now in such a hurry, it is like being chased by a ghost."
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