* By Adam Gartrell in Jakarta - From: AAP - April 13, 2010
BALI Nine drug mule Martin Stephens has lodged a final appeal against his life sentence with the help of an Australian Federal Police letter that describes him as a "minor" player in the heroin smuggling plot.
Lawyers for the 33-year-old Wollongong man lodged their request for a so-called judicial review with the Denpasar District Court late last week.
Stephens was arrested at Bali airport on April 17, 2005 - five years ago this Saturday - with 2.9kg of heroin strapped to his legs and stomach. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2006, a sentence later upheld by a higher court and Indonesia's Supreme Court.
But in their new appeal Stephens' lawyers argue his life sentence should be reduced to the "lightest punishment possible". The appeal cites new evidence in the form of a letter from former AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty.
In the letter, dated April 1, 2009 and addressed to defence lawyer Wirawan Adnan, Mr Keelty says Stephens first came to the AFP's attention 11 days before his arrest.
"Martin's role in the attempted importation of heroin from Bali to Australia is considered to be minor," Mr Keelty wrote in the letter, obtained by AAP.
"There is no indication that Martin was an organiser or aware of the details relating to the suspected importation.
"Nor does the AFP possess information to indicate that he has been involved in previous importations."
Mr Keelty notes that fellow mule Renae Lawrence had her sentence reduced to 20 years after she gave authorities information about the syndicate behind the plot.
"It is the AFP's view that Martin's knowledge of the importation was limited to his first involvement in an importation of drugs and therefore he was unable to offer a similar level of cooperation," he says.
Court clerk Ketut Gede Rantam said hearings would be held on May 7 to test the new evidence.
"After this we will send these documents to the Supreme Court," he said.
If the judicial review fails, Stephens' last option will be a plea for clemency to Indonesia's President.
Four other Bali Nine members - Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj, Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen and Matthew Norman - are also serving life sentences.
Three - Scott Rush, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - are on death row.
They are also expected to lodge their final appeals this year.