More offers to Indonesia possible: Bishop

Australian officials are continuing to work on offers which they hope will convince Indonesia to spare the lives of drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.


The behind-the-scenes diplomacy comes as an appeal for a Jakarta court to hear the case for sparing the pair from execution was adjourned to next Thursday.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s earlier offer of a prisoner exchange deal was rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and her ministerial counterpart Retno Marsudi, who say there is nothing in Indonesian law that allows for such an exchange.

Ms Bishop is now awaiting a response from Indonesia of another offer, in which Australia would cover the cost of the ongoing life imprisonment of Chan and Sukumaran.

She says she will continue to put proposals to the Indonesian government, even if a date is set for the executions.

“I’ve offered to work with Indonesia to see if we can find regional solutions to drug trafficking … (and) better education programs, better law enforcement, rehabilitation programs,” Ms Bishop said.

She has also warned that Indonesia’s international reputation is at stake over the executions of the Australians and other foreign nationals.

Ms Bishop says other countries are also looking at Indonesia, equally worried about the fate of their citizens facing execution.

“I am concerned that Indonesia’s international reputation will be damaged,” she said.

Australia’s most senior Muslim leader has flown to Jakarta to make a personal plea for mercy for the duo.

The Grand Mufti of Australia Ibrahim Abu Mohammed told Indonesian leaders forgiveness lay at the heart of Islam, and touched on the “heritage of mercy” in their shared religion.

The State Administrative Court will hear the appeal next Thursday, after lawyers for the president said they weren’t ready.

The Bali Nine ringleaders remain in on Nusakambangan island off Java awaiting the firing squad.