A simple translation error has stymied drug mule Martin Stephens’ attempt to get out of jail early, with an Indonesian court ordering the Australian’s lawyers correct a reference from former AFP boss Mick Keelty before his appeal can be heard. Stephens’ life sentence, delivered after he was found guilty of trying to import 2.9kg of heroin to Australia in 2005 as part of the so-called Bali Nine gang, is being contested on the basis of the reference, written by Mr Keelty last year.

According to the chief lawyer for the 35-year-old Stephens, Wirawan Adnan, yesterday’s adjournment was due to an error in translating Mr Keelty’s reference into Indonesian. “The original letter read, `I’m writing to you, as legal adviser for Martin Stephens,’ but it was translated to read, `I, as legal adviser for Martin Stephens, am writing to you’,” Mr Adnan explained. “I’ll have to have it changed, and there will be another hearing where I will have to tell judges that I have altered the evidence. I had planned to have in rectified orally during the hearing today, but the judges wouldn’t allow it.”

The translation was produced under oath by a private firm.

See: The Australian