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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 17:00 PM | 05-03-2015

Australia floats prisoner swap to save Indonesia pair

Australia on Thursday (5 March 2015) suggested a prisoner swap with Indonesia in an 11th hour bid to save two drug smugglers facing execution, while voicing “deep concern” about Jakarta’s international reputation if they are killed.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” drug trafficking gang, could be shot within days after being moved on Wednesday to the Indonesian island where they are due to face a firing squad.

Authorities must give convicts 72 hours’ notice before they are executed and in a last-ditch effort to save them Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop proposed a prisoner swap, according to the Agence France Presse.

She said she had spoken to her counterpart Retno Marsudi in what was reportedly “a very tense phone call.”

“I’ve spoken to her on a number of occasions about this, and I wanted to explore any other avenues or opportunities to save the lives of these two young men who have been so remarkably rehabilitated,” Bishop told ABC radio.

“She undertook to pass on my comments to the president.”

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