Bali 9 duo to be moved to death island

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 12 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Officials have received permission to move Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from jail for their executions.

Australian death-row prisoners ... Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Picture: AFP Source: AP

PLANS are under way to move Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from Bali to an island jail in Central Java in ominous signs their execution is imminent.

The Justice and Human Rights Minister has instructed his staff in Bali to arrange the move to Nusa Kambangan island jail, close to the remote execution site and where those facing Indonesian firing squads spend their final days.

National spirit ... Andrew Chan walks past inside Kerobokan Jail, wearing a South Sydney jersey. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Corp Australia

Momock Bambang Samiarso, head of Bali prosecutors office, said on Thursday he received a letter from Jakarta ordering the two Australians be moved, but there was so far no date for the move or for the executions.

"So they will be moved soon," Mr Samiarso said.

Asked if the transfer could be this week, he said: "Soon. As soon as possible."

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Supporters ... Myuran Sukumaran's sister Brintha with his family visit him in Bali. Source: News Corp Australia

The news came after a meeting in Bali attended by officials from the Justice Ministry, the prosecutor's office, the Governor of Bali and staff from Garuda Airlines and Bali airport.

The move came amid a bipartisan call from Australia for Indonesia to treat the condemned Bali Nine duo as they would their own citizens.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Thursday told Parliament the Indonesian government was fighting to save up to 360 of its citizens on foreign death rows — including about 230 on drugs charges.

Ms Bishop asked for mercy to be extended to Chan and Sukumaran, who have been told they face the firing squad within the month.

"The Government stands resolutely with both families," Ms Bishop said, in her strongest public statement so far on the case.

Emotive speech ... Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop making a statement to the House of Representatives on Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Picture: Kym Smith Source: News Corp Australia

"After all, Australia is only doing what Indonesia is doing: making representation on behalf of Indonesian families in support of Indonesian death row prisoners abroad.

"We urge the Indonesian Government to show the same mercy to Andrew and Myuran that it seeks for its citizens in the situation abroad."

Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek have pleaded for the lives of the Bali Nine ringleaders facing execution.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek spoke of the experience of her husband Michael Coutts-Trotter, who spent time in prison for drug trafficking before being released in 1988.

"I imagine what would have happened if he had been caught in Thailand instead of in Australia where that crime was committed," she said.

The Chan and Sukumaran families yesterday continued their vigil at Bali's Kerobokan prison, while artist Ben Quilty conducted a painting workshop inside.

Australian Artist Ben Quilty after visiting Myuran Sukumaran. He gave a painting class at Kerobokan Jail. Source: News Corp Australia

Indonesia's President this week reiterated his tough new drugs policy and echoed earlier comments that he will show no mercy to those on death row.

Mr Quilty said outside the jail Sukumaran was "very very thankful" for the speeches and for the support from Australia.

"He is having a very hard time and he is very thankful that he feels that support … he is tough, he is a strong young man, he is fit and healthy and he is painting and working with his sister," Mr Quilty said.

"He has got a big weight on his shoulders but he is staying hopeful."

And Australian Islamic leaders also joined the growing calls for Indonesian President Joko Widodo to show mercy. The president of the Australian National Imams Council, Sheikh Abdul Azim, said the Muslim community of Australia had not given up hope the men would be spared.

"We are still calling for the President of Indonesia to have some mercy," said Shiekh Abdul.

Backing their son ... Andrew Chan's father Ken with his family at Kerobokan Jail in Bali. Source: News Corp Australia

"Everyone makes a mistake, no one's perfect. Execution is very bad, no one likes it. We feel very sorry for these poor, poor families.

"This is the stand of all imams in Australia, We ask our voice to be heard in Indonesia. Please make it heard. We feel very sorry for them.

Keysar Trad, of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said he had been approached by numerous Muslims asking what could be done for the men.

"The Indonesian authorities should understand the fate of these two people has touched the heart of all Australians and in the interest of friendship between the two nations, perhaps a pardon would be in order to cement the friendship," said Mr Trad.

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