Report: Indonesia Rejects Australian Prisoner Exchange Offer
Jakarta. The Indonesian government has reportedly rejected an Australian offer to exchange two drug convict set to be executed for Indonesian inmates held Down Under.
Reuters quoted Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir as saying on the Indonesian channel Metro TV that there would be no such deal.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had proposed a prisoner swap in a bid to save the lives of Australian nationals Myuran Sukumara and Andrew Chan, who will likely be shot by a firing squad within days.
Separately, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said he was not impressed by the Australian offer.
“What’s with this prisoner exchange? Are we at war?” Ryamizard said.
The minister stressed that Indonesia should go ahead with the plan to execute Chan and Sukumaran, the ring leaders of the so-called Bali Nine gang who were sentenced to death after they were caught attempting to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin out of Bali in 2006.
Ryamizard said the executions were necessary to overcome the threat of drug abuse that Indonesia was facing.
“If we don’t execute them, they can run a business from inside the prison and later they could be released, can you imagine that? That’s extremely dangerous,” Ryamizard said.
Additional reporting from Reuters
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Source: The Jakarta Globe