List of Australians imprisoned or executed abroad

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This is a list of current and former Australian citizens whose detention in prisons outside of Australia or execution is noteworthy. The list includes those whose arrests and / or sentences are considered noteworthy for the following reasons,

  • the prisoner was arrested and charged and / or convicted of notable crimes whilst abroad.
  • the prisoner is an otherwise notable person in Australia.

Argentina[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Stephen John Sutton Sydney, New South Wales Drug trafficking 4 February 2003 November 2008 Sentenced to 11 years. Released from prison in November 2008.[1]

Bulgaria[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Jock Palfreeman Sydney, New South Wales Murder December 2007 Appeal pending.[2]

Cambodia[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Gordon Vuong Campsie, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) January 2005 2018 Sentenced to 13 years in May 2005.[3]

China[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Stern Hu stealing commercial secrets and receiving bribes

Egypt[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Peter Greste Brisbane, Queensland falsifying news 29 January 2014 Sentenced to 7 years imprisonment on 23 June 2014

Fiji[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Thomas McCosker Warrnambool, Victoria Sodomy charges 3 April 2005 28 August 2005

Indonesia[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Schapelle Corby Brisbane, Queensland Drug trafficking (Cannabis) 8 October 2004 10 February 2014
  • Sentenced in 2005 to 20 years.
  • Sentence reduced on appeal in 2005 to 15 years.
  • Sentence increased on further appeal in 2005 to 20 years.[6]
  • Released from Kerobokan Prison on Monday 10 February 2014 after being granted parole on Friday 7 February 2014. Of her original 20 year sentence, Corby only served 9 years and 259 days.[7]
Andrew Chan Enfield, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin). 17 April 2005 Sentenced to death on 14 February 2006.[8]
Si Yi Chen Doonside, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment on 15 February 2006.[8]
  • Sentence reduced to 20 years on 27 April 2006[9]
  • Sentence increased to the death penalty on 6 September 2006
  • Sentence reduced to life imprisonment in March 2008
Michael Czugaj Oxley, Queensland Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment on 14 February 2006.[8]
  • Sentence reduced to 20 years on 27 April 2006[9]
  • Sentence increased to life on 6 September 2006
Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen Brisbane, Queensland Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment on 15 February 2006.[8]
  • Sentence reduced to 20 years on 27 April 2006[9]
  • Sentence increased to the death penalty on 6 September 2006
  • Sentence reduced to life imprisonment in March 2008 [3]
Matthew Norman New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment on 15 February 2006.[8]
  • Sentence reduced to 20 years on 27 April 2006[9]
  • Sentence increased to the death penalty on 6 September 2006
  • Sentence reduced to life imprisonment in March 2008 [4]
Scott Rush Chelmer, Queensland Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment on 13 February 2006.[8]
  • Sentence increased to the death penalty on 6 September 2006
  • Sentence reduced to life imprisonment on 11 May 2011 on appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court
Martin Stephens Towradgi, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005 Sentenced to life imprisonment on 14 February 2006.[8]
Myuran Sukumaran Auburn, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005 Sentenced to death on 14 February 2006.[8]
Renae Lawrence Newcastle, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 17 April 2005
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment on 13 February 2006.[8]
  • Sentence reduced to 20 years on 27 April 2006[9]
Michelle Leslie South Australia Possession of ecstasy tablets 21 August 2005 19 November 2005
  • Controversially declared herself a Muslim during her imprisonment.[10]
  • It was alleged that some of her lawyers distributed bribes to secure her freedom.[11]
Michael Sacatides Sydney, New South Wales Drug trafficking Methamphetamine 1 October 2010
  • Sentenced in 2011 to 18 years in Bali's Kerobokan Jail.[12]

A prisoner exchange agreement is currently being negotiated between Australia and Indonesia.[13]

Israel[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Denis Michael Rohan 23 August 1969 Died 1995 Arson[citation needed]

Italy[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Laszlo Toth Melbourne, Victoria Vandalism 21 May 1972 9 February 1975 Vandalised Michelangelo's Pietà statue[14]

Kuwait[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Tallaal Adrey Auburn, New South Wales *Weapons possession
*Weapons trading
*Ammunition possession
*Ammunition trading
14 February 2005 2009 Sentenced to 4 years.[15][16]

Laos[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Kerry and Kay Danes Brisbane, Queensland Destruction of Evidence,
Embezzlement of State Assets,
Violation of Lao Tax Regulations
23 December 2000 6 November 2001 Pardoned 6 November 2001.[17]

Malaysia[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Kevin Barlow Perth, Western Australia Drug trafficking (Heroin) 9 November 1983 Executed Executed by hanging on 7 July 1986.[18][19]
Brian Chambers Perth, Western Australia Drug trafficking (Heroin) 9 November 1983 Executed Executed by hanging on 7 July 1986.[18][19]
Michael McAuliffe Sydney, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 29 June 1985 Executed Executed by hanging in June 1993.[20]

Singapore[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Van Tuong Nguyen Melbourne, Victoria Drug trafficking (Heroin) 12 December 2002 Executed Executed by hanging on 2 December 2005.

Somalia[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Nigel Brennan Brisbane 23 August 2008 25 November 2009 Taken captive by Somali rebels (never actually imprisoned)

South Africa (Limpopo)[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia War Crimes 24 October 1901 Executed Executed by firing squad on 27 February 1902.
Peter Handcock New South Wales War Crimes 24 October 1901 Executed Executed by firing squad on 27 February 1902.

Thailand[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Warren Fellows Sydney, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 11 October 1978 11 January 1990 Sentenced to life, received a pardon.[21]
Paul Hayward Sydney, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) 11 October 1978 7 April 1989 Sentenced to 30 years, received a pardon.[21]
Nola Blake Botany, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) January 1987 March 1998 Originally sentenced to death, later commuted to life in prison. Received a Royal Pardon
Robert Halliwell Sydney, New South Wales Drug trafficking (Heroin) August 2000 Arrested with Deane-Johns whilst attempting to post heroin to Australia. Police later found another 110 grams of heroin in Halliwell's apartment. Sentenced to 31 years.[22]

A prisoner exchange agreement exists between Australia and Thailand allowing prisoner transfers.[23]

The Philippines[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Warren Rodwell Sydney, New South Wales Kidnap Victim 5 December 2011 23 March 2013 Taken captive by Abu Sayyaf rebels (not lawfully imprisoned)[24]

United Kingdom[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Rolf Harris Bassendean, Western Australia Indecent Assault August 2013 Sentenced to 5 years and 9 months imprisonment on 4 July 2014


United States[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Jean-Philippe Wispelaere Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Espionage 15 May 1999 2015? Former Defence Intelligence Organisation officer who sought to sell secrets to a foreign power.[25]
Mamdouh Habib Sydney, New South Wales 5 October 2001 28 January 2005 [26]
David Hicks Adelaide, South Australia November 2001 1 January 2008 Prisoner of the US Government held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on unlawful combatant charges.[27] Returned to Australia on 20 May 2007 to serve the remaining nine months of his sentence in Yatala Labour Prison, Adelaide.[28]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Samandar Hout Kilani Afghanistan / Australia Robbery July 2011 September 2013 3-year prison sentence currently in Dubai's Central Jail[29]

Vietnam[edit]

Prisoner From Convictions Arrested Release date Notes
Pham Trung Dung Vietnam / Australia Drug trafficking (Heroin) May 2013 Sentenced to death on 27 June 2014[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Sutton website. Retrieved 22 February 2006
  2. ^ [1], February 2006
  3. ^ Australian teen jailed for 13 years over heroin, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 May 2005
  4. ^ Australian home after Fiji gay sex conviction overturned, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 August 2005
  5. ^ Little help, no protest for Victorian jailed in Fiji, The Age, 20 August 2005
  6. ^ 'I ask for you... to find me innocent', The Age, 29 April 2005
  7. ^ http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/02/10/schapelle-corby-will-be-released-today-0
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bali Nine all lodge appeals, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 20 February 2006.
  9. ^ a b c d e Some Bali nine jail terms cut ABC News Online, 27 April 2006
  10. ^ "Drug-accused model says she's a Muslim". The Australian. 29 August 2005. 
  11. ^ Forbes, Mark (27 November 2005). "Lost funds add to bribe speculation". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2007.  and Forbes, Mark (17 June 2006). "Leslie's confidant lifts the veil". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2007. 
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ Govt to consult with Indonesia over death sentences, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 7.30 Report, 14 February 2006
  14. ^ Whatever happened to Laszlo Toth, the man who smashed Michelangelo's Pieta in 1972?, Guardian Unlimited, 26 February 2006
  15. ^ Australian Man in Kuwaiti Jail Says Govt Has Failed Him, Caged Prisoners, 18 May 2005
  16. ^ Foreign Prisoner Support Service, Tallaal Adrey Campaign
  17. ^ Kerry and Kay Danes pardoned in Laos, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 6 November 2001
  18. ^ a b Brian Chambers and Kevin Barlow executed in Malaysia, The Guardian, 7 July 1986.
  19. ^ a b They died at dawn, NineMSN, 30 November 2005
  20. ^ The toughest penalty, The Daily Telegraph, 15 February 2006
  21. ^ a b The Damage Done, Pan Macmillan Australia, 1997 [ISBN 1-84018-275-X]
  22. ^ Heroin addicts escape Thai death sentence, The Age, 5 July 2003
  23. ^ Asian jails not very good: Downer, The Age, 22 April 2005
  24. ^ Filipino Abu Sayyaf militant nabbed for Warren Rodwell’s abduction The Australian, 17 June 2014
  25. ^ Australian spy sentenced to jail in the U.S.
  26. ^ Australian official saw Habib tortured: report
  27. ^ Hicks' time in custody ignored by Pentagon
  28. ^ Celebrity Hicks back in lockup – National – brisbanetimes.com.au
  29. ^ Steve Pratt
  30. ^ Australian man Pham Trung Dung sentenced to death for heroin in Vietnam