Seventeen Australians on or facing death row a year after Bali Nine deaths - A year after the Bali Nine executions, Indonesia prepares firing squads again
Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, a grandmother from Sydney, faces death by hanging if convicted in the Malaysian high court of smuggling 1.1kg of ice. Photograph: Azhar Rahim/EPA
Figures show Australian federal police provided information for ‘potential death penalty situations’ 74 times in past year.
In the year since Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran faced an Indonesian firing squad, their wishes appear to have been posthumously granted, at least in part – no more Australians have been added to the list of those potentially facing the death penalty.
But of at least 17 Australians still thought to be at risk of execution overseas, life on death row has become a grim reality for at least one man and the fate of another could be known within days.
On the anniversary of the execution of Chan and Sukumaran over a thwarted plan to smuggle heroin out of Bali, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade did not respond when asked how many Australians in jail could face capital punishment.
It is understood there has been no change to the number Dfat confirmed last year, with groups including the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties not aware of any new cases.
A year after the Bali Nine executions, Indonesia prepares firing squads again
But, in the past year, the prospect of execution drew closer for a former Adelaide jockey given a suspended death sentence in China for smuggling ice.
And a verdict on another ice smuggling case in China, which will decide the fate of a young dual Australian and New Zealand citizen, could be just days away.
The two men are among as many as 11 Australians thought to be held over drug prosecutions in a single southern Chinese city, Guangzhou. The possibility of execution by lethal injection or firing squad looms for all of them.
In Malaysia, an Australian woman could be hanged if found guilty of drug smuggling. In Vietnam, a Sydney man faces the prospect of secret execution by lethal injection of locally manufactured chemicals of “unknown efficacy”, according to Amnesty International.
While the number of Australians on or facing death row held steady, the level of involvement by the Australian federal police in transnational investigations that could result in death penalties declined – but was still significant.
Figures provided to Guardian Australia show the AFP provided information for investigations known as “potential death penalty situations” 74 times in the past year.
This was down from 100 times in 2014 and 89 times in 2012 but more than the 50 times in 2013.
Of those 74 information exchanges in 2015, 11 of them were with the approval of Michael Keenan, the minister for justice, as required in cases where suspects are already charged or convicted.
It is not known how many of these related to Australian citizens.