A Bali 9 lawyer does not believe Ballarat-born Edward Myatt will face the death
penalty after being detained for alleged drug trafficking in Indonesia.
Melbourne lawyer Robert Stary, who represents Myran Sukamaran, who is on death
row in Kerobokan jail for trafficking eight kilograms of heroin from Bali to
Australia in 2005, said he felt a significant term of imprisonment would be
“Firstly, for the death penalty to be activated he would need to be found
guilty,” Mr Stary said.
“The fact drugs appear to have been concealed in his system, on the face of it,
“But the death penalty is reserved for the most serious cases, such as Andrew
Chan and Myran Sukamaran, where it was a commercial operation at the highest
end of the scale.”
Mr Stary said Indonesia was becoming increasingly reluctant to impose the death
penalty and had an exhaustive legal process, with several avenues of appeal.
He said Indonesia had adopted an international covenant of civil and political
rights which opposed the death penalty.
“It (the death penalty) should be unlikely but there would be a significant
term of imprisonment, probably more than 10 years.”
Mr Myatt was allegedly found with 72 capsules, containing mostly hashish,
concealed in his body. Mr Stary said a similar offence in Australia would
attract a jail term of probably less than 10 years.
“The Indonesian criminal justice system is much more sophisticated than people
give it credit for, with a comprehensive appeal process.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s not like some sort of banana republic ruled by a
military junta. It’s a robust, vibrant democracy.”
Mr Stary said he did not believe in the death penalty, which was being
gradually phased out by most western societies.
“It’s seen to be a barbaric form of punishment. It is being phased out in
Indonesia and I give them credit for that.”
Indonesian authorities describe Mr Myatt as a long-term drug mule.
Mr Myatt, who also holds a British passport, is now facing a possible death
sentence if found guilty of drug trafficking under Indonesia’s harsh anti-drugs
While he was born in Ballarat, it is believed he has not lived here for some
time and resides in England. A police source says he had told them he had a job
in the construction industry and also worked as a part-time jewellery salesman.
The 54-year-old was yesterday afternoon moved to a police station in Denpasar
where he is expected to remain until he is formally charged.
Earlier, Mr Myatt, who was dressed in an orange prison shirt and handcuffed,
was paraded before media at Bali’s Ngurah Rai international airport.
The 72 capsules he is accused of swallowing in an attempt to smuggle 1103 grams
of hashish, with an estimated street value of $67,000, and 7 grams of
methamphetamine, were also put on display. Each capsule was about 5cm long.
The capsules were recovered from Mr Myatt’s body over 3 days after his arrest
on Monday while he was under guard at a hospital in Denpasar.
Mr Myatt was detained on Monday after arriving at Ngurah Rai Airport on a
flight from Delhi, which had transited through Bangkok.
He immediately came to the attention of Indonesian Customs officials, who were
suspicious of his travel history.
The head of Customs at Ngurah Rai Airport, Made Wijaya, said yesterday that
initial questioning and investigations also had led authorities to believe Mr
Myatt was a key member of an Indonesian drug-smuggling ring.
“He’s a courier. But he is shielding his network information in Indonesia,” Mr
It appears the gravity of the situation he found himself in was not lost on Mr
Myatt, with authorities revealing that he had tried to flee as he was being
transported to the hospital, where he was to be X-rayed.
“On the way to the hospital ... the suspect tried to run away. We chased him,”
Mr Wijaya said.
He will remain at police headquarters in Denpasar for the next few days at
least, and is likely to be moved to Kerobokan jail after he is charged.
The jail already houses 12 Australians – the Bali Nine, as well as the Gold
Coast’s Schapelle Corby, and Sydney’s Michael Sacatides, who was jailed for 18
years in 2011 after he was caught with 1.7kg of methamphetamine secreted in his
luggage. Sacatides had also arrived on a flight from Bangkok.
Graeme Michael Pollock, of Darwin, was given a 6-month sentence this week after
he was busted at his hotel in Kuta Beach last year with a small amount of
(source for both: The Courier)