The Australian Federal Police has broken its silence over its role in the Bali Nine arrests.

Commissioner Andrew Colvin denied the force had “blood on its hands.”

But he gave no guarantees that the same situation could not happen again.

Rachel Liang reports.


Since the executions of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, there’ve been growing calls for the AFP to come clean.

Today the Commissioner did just that.

He defended tipping off Indonesian authorities, saying he didn’t have the evidence to make arrests here.

Andrew Colvin, AFP Commissioner: “The simple facts are that at the time we were working with an incomplete picture. We didn’t know everybody who was involved, we didn’t know the organisers, we didn’t know all the plans, we didn’t even know what the illicit commodity was likely to be.”

Mr Colvin denied any suggestion, the AFP was acting in its own interests.

Andrew Colvin, AFP Commissioner: “The idea that we shopped these Australians into their situation because we wanted to try and curry favour in relation to other investigations is fanciful and offensive.”

And he explained their four month silence.

Andrew Colvin, AFP Commissioner: “We chose not to seEk publicly because we didn’t want to negatively impact in any way the government’s very strong efforts for clemency in this case.”

Since the 2005 arrests of the nine Australian drug smugglers AFP guidelines have changed.

But the Commissioner could not guarantee the same scenario would never happen again.

And while he offered condolences to the Chan and Sukumaran families.

Andrew Colvin, AFP Commissioner: “We can’t apologise for the role that we have, to try and stop illicit drugs from coming into this community.”

Meanwhile, as Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia was recalled home from Jakarta.

A suspicious package was found at Indonesia’s Embassy in Canberra.

Det. Sgt. Dave Turner, ACT Police: “The package is being transferred to ACT Health for analysis and an investigation has commenced.”

Rachel Liang QUT News.