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Howard Gives Support To Indonesian Death Penalty For Amrozi

Prime Minister John Howard has welcomed the guilty verdict for Bali bomber Amrozi and says the government will not be making representations against the imposition of the death penalty.

Howard said recent events reminded Australians “that the fight against terrorism will be a long one”.

In relation to the death penalty, Howard said: “I respect the jurisdiction of the Indonesian court and I do not intend to make any representations that it not be carried out. If it’s the view of the Indonesian court that it be carried out, then it should be carried out.”

Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard’s Sydney press conference.

PRIME MINISTER:

Good evening. I’m sure that I speak for all Australians in welcoming the guilty verdict handed down by the court in Indonesia in relation to Amrozi’s role in the murder of 88 Australians amongst a total of 202 people at Bali in October last year. Most of all I hope that this verdict provides some sense of comfort to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy and that they feel that in some way justice has been done and at least one of the people responsible for what was described by one of the trial judges as a crime against humanity as well as a crime of murder, that in some way they have been properly brought to justice.

So far as the imposition of the death penalty is concerned, it will not be the intention of the Australian Government to make any representations to the Government of Indonesia that that penalty not be carried out. I can only say again that to those of my fellow Australians who lost their loved ones in this tragedy that again their fellow Australians think of them and we are reminded of the brutality of this deed, and we are also reminded by the events of recent days that the fight against terrorism will be a long one and much time will go by before we can assume that the threat of terrorism is behind us.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible] personally support the imposition of the death penalty…

PRIME MINISTER:

The Indonesian court has applied it and I accept that. I respect the jurisdiction of the Indonesian court and I do not intend to make any representations that it not be carried out. If it’s the view of the Indonesian court that it be carried out, then it should be carried out. These crimes were committed in Indonesia and the law of that country must prevail. So far as the crime itself is concerned, can I add my congratulations to the police force of Indonesia for the great investigative work that was done in order to catch those responsible. They were aided by the Australian Federal Police and I congratulate the AFP on their role.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible] father of one of the victims …

PRIME MINISTER:

I respect his view and I imagine that some will agree with him. I imagine that many will agree with what I’ve said. Thank you.

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