Australians try to smuggle heroin from Bali

The first two of nine young Australians facing possible death sentences for allegedly trying to smuggle heroin from Bali went on trial Tuesday on the resort island. The trials of the eight men and one woman, dubbed the Bali Nine by Australian media, are the latest in a series of high profile drug cases involving Australians in Indonesia.

The nine were arrested in April, five at Bali's airport with heroin allegedly on their bodies about to board a flight to Sydney. The other four were detained in a hotel on the island allegedly planning a second shipment of the drug.

Myuran Sukumaran, 24, and Michael Czugaj, 20, did not react as prosecutors read out the charges against them in separate courtrooms at the Denpasar District Court.

Prosecutors described Sukumaran as the ringleader of the group and said he strapped the heroin to the others' bodies, ordered them to travel to the airport and promised them A$5,000 (US$3,800; Ђ3,148) when they arrived in Australia. Sukumaran was arrested at a hotel in Kuta, Bali's main tourist town.

Czugaj was arrested at the airport with 300 grams (11 ounces) of heroin strapped to his right thigh, said prosecutor Suhardi. "It is clear that both men have violated the law in Indonesia," Suhardi, who goes by a single name, told reporters after the trial. The two were not required to address the court. The trials were adjourned until next week.

The other seven suspects will go on trial later this week at the same court, reports the AP. I.L.

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