The AFP Is Totally Fine With The Way It Handled The Bali Nine Case

The Australian Federal Police has refused to apologise for tipping off Indonesian authorities a decade ago.

The Australian Federal Police has defended its role in the 2005 arrest of the Bali Nine.


AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin, deputy commissioner Mike Phelan and deputy commissioner Leanne Close held a news conference in Canberra this morning.

The AFP has not commented on the controversial matter until now, on the grounds that it would have affected the clemency efforts for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

In 2005, the AFP alerted Indonesian police to a potential Australian drug operation, leading to the arrest of the Bali Nine and the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.


Over the last week, the AFP has faced mounting calls to explain why they didn’t just arrest the nine people in Australia, and instead let them travel to Bali, where they faced the death penalty.

Here’s what we learned from the Australian Federal Police today:

Sonny Tumbelaka / Getty Images

The AFP knew the Bali Nine could face the death penalty when they tipped off the Indonesian police.


“That decision was made in the full knowledge that we may well be exposing those individuals to the death penalty. I have said that before and it’s not a position that the AFP has stepped away from. We knew what may occur as a result of that.”

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

The tip-off from Scott Rush’s father did not lead to the arrest of the Bali Nine.


The AFP say they were already investigating a syndicate that was recruiting couriers to import drugs into Australia when they received information from a lawyer acting on behalf of the father of Bali Nine member Scott Rush.

“It’s been reported that the AFP took the tip-off from Scott Rush’s father and then promised that his son would be prevented from leaving Australia… This is simply not true,” said deputy commissioner Mike Phelan.

“If Scott Rush’s father or his lawyer acting on his behalf had never made contact with the AFP, we would still be in exactly the same position we are today. It made absolutely no difference.”

Sonny Tumbelaka / Getty Images

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