17 Feb 2015

Bali Nine prison transfer postponed

7:19 pm on 17 February 2015

Plans to transfer two convicted Australian drug smugglers to an island prison in preparation for their executions have been postponed.

An Indonesian policeman stands guard next to a detention room where Australians Myuran Sukumaran (L) and Andrew Chan (C), members of the so called Bali Nine gang, wait for their trial.

An Indonesian policeman stands guard next to Australians Myuran Sukumaran (L) and Andrew Chan (C). Photo: AFP

The Indonesian attorney-general has told the ABC he asked for the transfer of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to be delayed so they could have more time with their families.

Information sent to the ABC from an Indonesian police intelligence source showed that plans were being made to transfer Chan and Sukumaran out of Bali's Kerobokan prison as early as tomorrow morning.

Myuran Sukumaran (L) and Andrew Chan (R) wait inside a detention room in Bali.

Myuran Sukumaran (L) and Andrew Chan (R) wait inside a detention room in Bali. Photo: AFP

The plan was for them to be flown to Java, escorted by 20 security personnel, and transferred to Nusa Kambangan island prison in preparation for their executions.

But, in a text message, attorney-general Muhammad Prasetyo confirmed he had asked for plans to be postponed.

"It's an attempt to respond to requests made by various parties, including the government of Australia," he said.

"So the families have more time to see them."

Mr Prasetyo has not said whether Chan and Sukumaran will still be transferred to Nusa Kambangan this week.

The two men are on death row for attempting to smuggle drugs to Australia in 2005 as part of the so-called Bali Nine.

Earlier, lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran said moving them to another prison in preparation for their executions would be an injustice.

Chan and Sukumaran were recently denied presidential pardons, despite prison officials supporting their clemency bids.

The pair's lead lawyer, Todong Mulya Lubis, has been summoned to a court next week over a claim that president Joko Widodo has not followed the rules in rejecting the pair's plea for clemency.

He said the court hearing showed that all legal avenues had not yet been tested, and was concerned that if the men were moved out of Bali later this week as expected, it would make it hard to reverse the process.

-ABC

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