Indonesian court cuts sentences for Australian smugglers

An Indonesian court cut the sentences of five Australians involved in a drug smuggling ring from life to 20 years behind bars Thursday, but said the two masterminds would still face a firing squad.

The seven were members of the so-called "Bali Nine," a group of Australians found guilty of trying to bring more than 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of heroin from the Indonesian resort island to their homeland.

Some members of the ring were arrested last April at Bali's airport with heroin taped to their bodies, while others were in a hotel room purportedly plotting another shipment.

"The Denpasar High Court upheld the death sentences for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran because they were the masterminds of the narcotics ring," said Hyster Arsan Pardede, deputy chief of the appeal court.

But five others would have their jail time cut from life to 20 years, he said, describing them as couriers.

The court upheld the life sentence of another drug mule and had not yet ruled on the ninth member of the ring, he said, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team