Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed

After a decade of legal battles, with emotions oscillating between hope and despair, doomed Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been to death.

The pair spent 10 years on death row at Bali's Kerobokan prison, and were executed by firing squad in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

As the so-called masterminds of the Bali Nine drug smuggling syndicate, the duo has never ventured far from the media's glare, with their protracted legal processes, rehabilitation and haunting countdown to death chronicled.

Julie Bishop says executing Bali Nine pair will be 'grave injustice'. Photo: 7News

The poster boys of the infamous 2005 drug bust and its devastating repercussions, what do we really know about Sukumaran and Chan?

Here we take a look at their backgrounds and how they came to be two of Australia's most notorious drug mules.

Australian death-row prisoners Myuran Sukumaran, right and Andrew Chan, left, stand in front of their cell. Source: AAP

Myuran Sukumaran

Sukumaran, 34, was born in London in 1981 and moved with his Sri Lankan family to Australia when he was a child.

He dropped out of university and became involved in the Sydney drugs and party scene.

Myuran Sukumaran covers his face shortly after his arrest in 2005. Photo: AAP

Enticed by the prospect of easy money, in 2005 he helped to organise a shipment of heroin destined for Australia.

Sukumaran and three others were arrested in a room at the Melasti Hotel after police raided it and discovered heroin in a suitcase.

Myuran Sukumaran is spending his last hours on Earth painting. Photo: Seven News

According to the testimonies of convicted drug mules, Sukumaran and Chan were the masterminds of the smuggling operation of heroin from Indonesia to Australia.

On February 14, 2006, Sukumaran was sentenced to execution by firing squad.

He would spend the next 10 years incarcerated in Bali's Kerobokan jail pursuing and exhausting legal avenues in a bid to quash his death sentence.

On December 30, 2014, Indonesia's president Joko Widodo sealed Sukumaran's fate by rejecting a final plea for clemency.

A mortician stencils in the pairs' names on wooden crosses. Photo: Seven News

While behind bars, Sukumaran demonstrated a 'remarkable transformation' and respectfully called for mercy on the basis that he had reformed his life.

He repeatedly asked to be given a second chance so that he could help others to rehabilitate and change their lives.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran stand before an Indonesian court in 2005. Photo: AAP

Committed to a new path, he became a model prisoner, teaching other inmates English and art.

Fondly known as the 'gentle giant' by his fellow inmates and prison guards, Myuran completed an arts degree while in jail, mentored by friend and renowned artist Ben Quilty.

Sukumaran Myuran painted a series of chilling images in the countdown to his execution. Photo: Getty Images

His paintings became his form of expression, most notably in his chilling artwork depicting the final countdown to death.

A self-portrait with a gaping black hole through the head, depicting a bullet hole, had inscribed on its reverse 'Self portrait. Time is ticking.'

It was one of many chilling images painted in the hours before and after he learned he would be shot dead.

A painting by Myuran Sukumaran. A message on the back of the canvas reads: 'Self. Portrait. 72 hours just started'. Photo: Getty Images

Andrew Chan

Like Sukumaran, Chan, 31, also hails from Sydney and attended Homebush Boys High School.

He was born in 1984 to Chinese-immigrant parents Ken and Helen, who spent some four decades running restaurants.

A 21-year-old Andrew Chan is led into Denpasar Police Headquarters shortly after his 2005 arrest. Photo: AAP

Chan, who has an older brother and two older sisters, started taking drugs when he was 16 and said his parents were unable to control him.

Just two years after Chan's parents retired, they were told their 21-year-old son had been arrested in Indonesia for being a ringleader of a heroin-smuggling gang.

Australians Scott Rush and Andrew Chan talk through the bars to consulate staff. Photo: AP

After a criminal trial on February 2006, Chan was sentenced to death by a firing squad.

He too would spend the next 10 years incarcerated at Kerobokan prison, pleading the Indonesian Government for a pardon.

Chan's final plea for clemency was rejected by Indonesia's president Joko Widodo on January 22, 2015.

Andrew Chan in his second court appearance in 2005. Photo: AAP

In jail, Chan had a positive influence on fellow inmates and changed many facets of life.

He became a committed Christian, led the English-language church service and became a mentor to many.

After six years of theology study, Chan was ordained as a minister in February.

In Julie Bishop's speech to Parliament, she said on the day he received the President's rejection of his clemency application, Chan 'took time out' to comfort a fellow inmate who was seriously ill.

In his last hours alive on Earth, Chan was granted one final and special wish.

He married his Indonesian fiancé, Feby Herewila, on the execution island of Nusakambangan, just 72?? hours before he was put to death.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran faced the firing squad after repeated pleas for mercy proved unsuccessul. Photo: AP