The Pastor and the Painter
At 12.35 a.m. on the 29th April 2015, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were led out in front of firing squad. Strapped to wooden crosses, they prayed and sang, staring straight ahead at their killers. On that day, the Indonesian government did not execute two drug smugglers, they executed a pastor and a painter.
But who were Andrew and Myuran?
In 2005, the selfish recklessness of youth and lure of drugs, money, fast cars and a better life led them and seven other Australians into a smuggling plot to import eight kilograms of heroin from Indonesia to Australia. Unbeknownst to them all, the Australian Federal Police knew their plan and tipped off the Indonesian police. Charged with drug trafficking, Myuran and Andrew were found guilty and sentenced to death. Andrew was 22 years old. Myuran was 24.
Cindy Wockner was the Indonesian correspondent for News Limited when the Bali Nine were caught. For a decade she covered their story and she got to know Myuran, Andrew and their families very well. She watched them transform from angry, defiant young men into fully rehabilitated good people.
This is the intimate, and untold, story of Andrew and Myuran; of their childhoods and what turned them to drugs, what happened in their ten years in Kerokoban Prison, the numerous legal appeals, the political fallout and the growing worldwide pleas for mercy that saw vigils held around Australia. It will show their rehabilitation and their focus on helping others - of Andrew's growing commitment to his faith and Myu's burgeoning artistic talent. It will show the boys they were and the men they became in a potent cautionary tale and a poignant reminder of what we all lose when we ignore the power of mercy.
Cindy Wockner is National Investigations Editor at News Corporation Newspapers, Australia. Her articles appear in News Corp papers across Australia, including the COURIER-MAIL, the DAILY TELEGRAPH, HERALD-SUN, ADELAIDE ADVERTISER and NT NEWS. Cindy has co-authored two books, BALI 9 and EVIL IN THE SUBURBS. You can follow Cindy on Twitter @CindyWockner or visit cindywockner.com