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Bishop welcomes delay for Bali pair

Lawyers hope a last-ditch bid to prevent Australia death-row prisoners Myuran Sukumaran (l) and Anddrew Chan being transported from Kerobokan prison will allow time for their clemency bid to be considered. Photo AAP

Lawyers hope a last-ditch bid to prevent Australia death-row prisoners Myuran Sukumaran (l) and Anddrew Chan being transported from Kerobokan prison will allow time for their clemency bid to be considered. Photo AAP

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has welcomed the delay in transferring Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from Bali, saying it gives Australia more time to push for a stay of their execution.

Bali authorities had said the pair would this week be taken to Nusakambangan for their imminent execution.

But on Tuesday the transfer was delayed because the Central Java island prison wasn’t able to handle the execution of so many prisoners at once.

Ms Bishop said she had not been given any indication of how long the move from Bali had been delayed for.

However, she said Australian authorities now had more time to lobby the Indonesians.

‘Any delay in plans by the Indonesian authorities to execute Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran will be a relief to the men and their families, and I certainly welcome the decision to delay it,’ she told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

‘We will continue our representations at the highest level and across the Indonesian government.’

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the execution of Chan and Sukumaran was “purely a law enforcement issue”.

The death penalty was not directed at any nation, and relations between the two countries should be based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, she said.

But Ms Bishop said the fate of the two Australians had placed stress on the relationship.

There were a number of options to show Australia’s displeasure if the pair are killed, particularly in diplomatic circles, she said.

‘But our sole focus at present is on ensuring that we can get a stay of execution,’ she said.


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