CONVICTED Australian drug smuggler Scott Rush is struggling to understand an Indonesian court decision that has drawn him one step closer to a firing squad.
Lee Rush, Scott’s dad, told The Catholic Leader his son was suffering psychologically and having difficulty comprehending the news.
Rush and fellow Corinda-Graceville Parish member Michael Czugaj were arrested with seven other Australians on April 17, 2005, in Denpasar in Bali while trying to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin to Australia.
He has been sentenced to death by firing squad.
Indonesia’s Constitutional Court recently threw out a challenge against the death penalty in drug cases; ruling foreigners don’t have the right to challenge Indonesia’s laws.
Mr Rush said they were trying to raise the issue of the mental health of prisoners on death row through the organisation Australian Against Capital Punishment.
“Our aim is to get Scott and the others home to be rehabilitated in non-maximum security Australian prisons,” he said.
Mr Rush said they received regular consular reports on Scott’s health and information from friends who were “compassionate” enough to visit him in Bali.
He said the emotional pressure being exerted on his 21-year-old son was enormous.
Parish priest Fr Tim Harris said he was in regular contact with the Rush and Czugaj families.
Fr Harris said Lee and Christine were in “reasonable shape” despite to terrible news.
“They know Scott did a terrible wrong. They are not asking for him to walk away from everything,” he said.
“They are asking for Scott’s life to be saved and to serve his sentence in Australia.”
The Rush family will wait for a judicial review of Scott’s case in Indonesia and if that fails the only thing that can save him is if Australia’s Prime Minister appeals to Indonesia for clemency.