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Three judges from the Denpasar District Court have advised the Supreme Court to reject a last-ditch appeal by Australian drug smugglers Matthew Norman, Si Yi Chen and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen. But the trio's lawyer Farhat Abbas insists the Supreme Court is under no obligation to take the lower court's opinion into consideration.

A decision on the appeal, known as a judicial review, is not expected for at least several weeks. "The decision makers are the judges at the Supreme Court," Abbas said today.

"The opinion from the district court has nothing to do with the case because they can only hear it, but they cannot make a decision. "It will not affect our case." The trio launched the appeal earlier this year.

In emotional appeals to the Denpasar District Court in June, they finally admitted their roles in the failed bid to smuggle heroin from Bali into Australia.

During the hearings, defence lawyers argued they should have faced charges under drug possession laws, which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, rather than drug export laws, which allow for death.

The appeal is the trio's final bid to beat the death penalty, other than an appeal to Indonesia's president for clemency.

Three other Australians facing the death penalty over the plot - Scott Rush, 21, and ringleaders Andrew Chan, 23, and Myuran Sukumaran, 26 - have also launched challenges, arguing Indonesia's Constitutional Court should scrap the death penalty because the nation's constitution affords life as a basic right. The case is due to resume in Jakarta next week, with a decision some weeks away.

Meanwhile, there could also be some movement in the cases of the remaining three members of the Bali Nine who are not facing death. Lawyers for Michael Czugaj, 22, and Martin Stephens, 31, said they would soon make a decision on whether to launch a final appeal against their life sentences.

"Next week I'm going to meet (Stephens's) family in Bali, and I'm going to see the situation for the judicial review," his lawyer Wirawan Adnan said. Czugaj's lawyer Frans Passar also confirmed his client was also weighing an appeal.

The only female in the group, Renae Lawrence, has ruled out an appeal against her 20-year term, but could have her sentence shaved by one or two months to mark Indonesia's Independence Day holiday on Friday.

Under the Indonesian system, all prisoners are eligible for remission on Independence Day and some religious holidays, if they have served at least six months of their sentence and are not sentenced to either life in prison or death.


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