|Bali Nine member Michael Czugaj|
Michael Czugaj found with meth in his Kerobokan prison cell but insists 'he's an addict not a dealer'
One of the Bali Nine members Michael Czugaj has been moved from the notorious Kerobokan prison to a jail in East Java after he was allegedly found with drugs.
Czugaj, 30, is serving a life sentence after he was caught with heroin strapped to his body at Denpasar Airport in April 2005.
The then 19-year-old was one of nine young Australians arrested and convicted.
Czugaj, was moved to Madiun Prison in East Java on Wednesday after he was allegedly found holding less than a gram of 'sabu sabu' (or ice) at Kerobokan prison, according to the Head of Bali Corrections Division Nyoman Putra Surya.
He said Czugaj was one of 63 prisoners moved, seven of whom were foreigners with six of those from Iran.
Nyoman alleged the Australian's 'addiction was strong' and that leftover ice was 'often' found in his cell.
'He (Czugaj) said that he got it from a visitor ... that's why we need to take him out so that he would be far away from his network in Bali,' Nyoman told reporters in Bali.
It was alleged the Australian admitted to using narcotics while in the prison but never trafficked it.
'Every time we found (the drug), it was always only leftovers. We want to prove it directly,' Nyoman added.
It is understood that officials are yet to notify the Australian consulate that he has been moved to a prison some 400 kilometres away from Bali.
Czugaj was among a group of Australian inmates inside Kerobokan who were unhurt when a deadly riot broke out in December last year.
Water canon, ambulances and the bomb squad had to be brought in and prison guards were evacuated from the jail, a 30-minute drive north of Kuta.
The fight was thought to have been between rival gangs Laskar Bali and Baladika.
Among the inmates were three members of Australia's Bali Nine; Czugaj, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman, who are all serving life imprisonment for the botched 2005 drug trafficking.
Accused ringleaders of the drug-smuggling operation, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, were sentenced to death and executed on April 29 last year.
Source: Mail Online, April 27, 2016
Bali Nine art studio gone as inmates moved from Kerobokan
|Myuran Sukumaran (L) and artist Ben Quilty (R) in Kerobokan's art workshop|
In an early morning operation today, authorities moved 66 prisoners out of Kerobokan. Most were sent to Madiun prison in East Java, including Australian Bali Nine courier Michael Czugaj and a group of Iranian prisoners.
The surprise move comes a week after rival gangs rioted in the prison and authorities say the transfers were aimed at moving troublemakers and easing shocking overcapacity at Bali’s main jail.
Among those moved are Iranians Rouhollah Serish Abadi and Ali Reza Sabarhanloo. Rouhollah was hand-picked by Sukumaran, before his death, to continue running his beloved art workshop and studio in the jail. Ali Reza was running the T-shirt printing and computer rehabilitation programs.
The move has shocked those involved in the programs in Bali, which Sukumaran was so passionate about ensuring continued after his death. And it has brought new pain to the families of the two Australians as they prepare to commemorate their lives and the anniversary of their controversial deaths.
Friday marks one year since Sukumaran and Chan, along with six others, were executed by firing squad, amid worldwide condemnation.
Before his death Sukumaran was passionate about ensuring the rehabilitation programs, which he and Chan had fought so hard to have set up and which had won acclaim around the world, would continue in his absence.
He personally hand-picked the prisoners to whom he would entrust their future and these included two of the Iranians moved today who had long worked side by side with Sukumaran in the workshops.
They had promised Sukumaran they would make him proud and ensure that the programs continued to help prisoners reform their lives.
Rouhollah, who had become an accomplished artist behind bars, had worked hard to ensure the art programs were continued in Sukumaran’s legacy.
Sukumaran, who was awarded a Fine Arts degree in the months before his death and who was mentored by Australian artists Ben Quilty and Matt Sleeth, spent his final days alive painting a series of poignant and haunting images, documenting the final journey.
His paintings, sent out from the jail still wet in his final three days, have since arrived back in Australia.
The move also further fragments the remaining Bali Nine members, of whom only two now remain in Kerobokan prison.
Si Yi Chen, who runs the silver workshop and Matthew Norman, are now the only two left at the prison. Both, along with Michael Czugaj who was moved today in what insiders say was a total shock, are serving life sentences for their role in the heroin bust.
Renae Lawrence was shifted to another prison in Bali several years ago and Martin Stephens and Tan Duch Tanh Nguyen had already been moved to Malang prison in East Java. Scott Rush ws moved to karangesem prison, in East Bali, at his own request.
All, except Renae Lawrence, are serving life sentences with no chance of parole and are not entitled to yearly remissions. They have tried constantly to have their sentences commuted to 20 years without success.
The move comes after a year of upheaval and trouble at the prison, in the centre of Bali’s tourist district, and which many observers say was allowed to fester without the leadership of prisoners like Sukumaran and Chan.
Riots between warring gangs within the jail have been deadly. In December last year two prisoners were killed in the violence along with two others killed when it spilt over to the streets outside the jail. In the wake of those riots a virtual arsenal of weapons was uncovered hidden within the jail.
Then last week, when suspects involved in that violence were due to be moved into the jail there was more trouble and threats of further bloodshed if those prisoners were moved into the jail. In the end the jail Governor refused to take them.
At 4am this morning Bali time heavily armed authorities arrived at the jail. A total of 63 prisoners were taken by bus for the long journey across to Madiun Jail in East Java. They were allowed to leave with only the clothes they were wearing. Another three prisoners, with ongoing trials, were moved to another jail within Bali.
Nyoman Putra Surya Atmadja, the head of the Correction Division at the Justice and Human rights Ministry in Bali, said the move was orderly and guards had managed to quell any unrest, including an attempt to stab a guard with a screwdriver.
Mr Atmadja said the move was aimed at easing overcapacity and moving troublemaker prisoners.
“The transfer was done to control the prison that has an extreme overcapacity because overcapacity is one of the factors that triggers security problems in the prison. We do this to create a secure situation in the prison, to prevent other riots happening,” Mr Atmadja said.
Source: news.com.au, April 27, 2016
Bali 9 member Michael Czugaj moved to remote jail after found with traces of drug
Bali 9 member Michael Czugaj is among 66 prisoners who have been transferred to a remote jail in East Java after prison authorities said they caught him with traces of the drug ice in Bali's Kerobokan jail.
The shock move comes two days before the 1st anniversary of the execution of 8 drug offenders in Indonesia, including Bali nine co-ordinators Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.
The future of rehabilitation projects Sukumaran helped establish in Kerobokan jail, including art classes and a T-shirt printing business, are in doubt after the 2 Iranian prisoners he entrusted to take over after his death were also moved.
The transfer of 66 prisoners to Madiun Prison in East Java at 4am on Wednesday morning was so sudden that prisoners did not have time to collect clothes or even cigarettes.
7 foreigners were moved, including Czugaj and 6 Iranians.
The head of Bali's prison division, Nyoman Putra Surya Atmaja, said prison officers had found traces of used sabu sabu (ice) when they searched Czugaj's cell.
"He was heavily addicted to drugs. He admitted to using drugs, but we only found a trace of used drugs," Mr Nyoman said. "Legally we can't charge him with evidence. He said he got it from a visitor. But he never said who. That's why we moved him. So he is kept away from his Bali drug network."
Mr Nyoman said the 66 prisoners who had been transferred were those who were "emotionally easy to provoke and who caused disturbances".
The transfer comes a week after a riot broke out at Kerobokan jail, with fires lit and prison bars broken after 11 members of the notorious Laskar Bali gang were admitted to the prison.
Those involved in the jail rehabilitation projects expressed shock, sadness and anger at the transfer of Iranians Ali Reza Safar Khanloo and Rouhallah Series Abadi, whom Sukumaran had asked to continue running Kerobokan jail's T-shirt printing business and the art room.
"In the short term I don't see anyway for the BengKer (prison workshop) to remain viable. I feel really sad," one insider told Fairfax Media.
"For them to destroy the BengKer is just mean. What a mess. What a waste of years of effort."
|Bali's Kerobokan prison|
Rahol, who helped organise supplies and weekly classes in the art room, recently spoke of how much he missed Sukumaran and still felt his presence in Kerobokan.
"His body is dead but still his soul is here," he said.
Ali had been experimenting with producing skateboards and bags, as well as T-shirts, in the prison workshop.
He had recently designed a T-shirt featuring a striking image of Sukumaran releasing doves of peace from a map of Australia, which he wanted to send to Sukumaran's family to commemorate Sukumaran's birthday on April 17.
"They are saying they are transferring the troublemakers - it's just revenge from the warden and chief of security," one prisoner said.
"With the workshop I have no idea what is going to happen. What they are doing is totally making me confused. It's like they don't care about the rehabilitation programs."
"This is the saddest day. Like we are fighting a losing battle," said another prisoner.
However Mr Nyoman, the head of Bali's prison division, said Rahol and Ali were not the leaders of the art room and T-shirt printing businesses.
"The leaders are prison guards. Not prisoners.The guards are still there," he said.
And Dadang Iskandar, the prison officer in charge of the BengKer, said the programs would continue "just with different members".
He said Indonesia always made decisions in the best interests of prisoners: "All the prisoners were transferred with good intentions."
April 29 marks the 1st anniversary of the execution of eight drug offenders, including Chan and Sukumaran, on Nusakambangan island, known as Indonesia's Alcatraz.
The 2 Australians had been sentenced to death in 2006 for their role in the foiled attempt to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Indonesia to Australia. Czugaj is serving life imprisonment.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo had refused to grant Chan and Sukumaran clemency, despite claims the Australians had reformed in prison.
Their legal team argued that Chan had become a pastor in prison and both men helped establish rehabilitation programs behind bars, including art, yoga, computer and cooking classes.
Source: smh.com.au, April 27, 2016