6 Mar 2015

'Short delay' for death row Australians

3:41 pm on 6 March 2015

Two Australians listed for execution in Indonesia have been given a brief reprieve, while the country's president has confirmed Jakarta will not be taking up Australia's offer for a prisoner swap.

Indonesia's justice and human rights minister, Yasonna Laoly, said there would be a "short delay" to the next round of executions, which includes drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Helen and Michael Chan, the family of Bali Nine Andrew Chan arrive in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Helen and Michael Chan, the family of Bali Nine Andrew Chan arrive in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Photo: AAP

Other media have been told the delay was up to 10 days by a source understood to be senior within the ministry responsible for timing the executions, the ABC reports.

Officials and lawyers representing foreigners on death row believed the delays might have been partly caused by unresolved legal processes involving five of the 11 people listed for the next round of executions.

Sukumaran and Chan fall into that category, with both pursuing legal appeals or challenges.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has officially rejected Australia's prisoner swap proposal for the death row inmates, saying it did not have the legal instruments for such an arrangement.

The foreign affairs ministry confirmed that the suggestion to send three Indonesian prisoners home if Jakarta stopped its plans to execute the two Australians was not something it was considering.

Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the reasoning was explained in a phone call between Indonesian foreign affairs minister Retno Marsudi and her Australian counterpart Julie Bishop earlier this week.

Members of the Chan and Sukumaran families flew into Yogyakarta airport on Thursday before driving to Cilacap.

They were being supported by consular officials from the Foreign Affairs Department.

Visiting days for the prison wing are Mondays and Wednesdays, but officials and lawyers representing the two men are trying to negotiate special permission for the families to visit the men sooner.

Complaint over police 'selfies' with inmates

Meanwhile, the Australian Government has formally complained to Indonesia about the treatment of Chan and Sukumaran after photos were published of the Denpasar police chief posing with the pair.

The photos, which appeared in local and international media, showed commissioner Djoko Hari Utomo on the flight with the two men from Kerobokan prison in Bali to central Java.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the photos were disrespectful to Chan and Sukumaran.

"I thought they were unbecoming and I thought that they showed a lack of respect and a lack of dignity," Mr Abbott said.

Treasurer Joe Hockey told Channel 7 the treatment of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran had been inappropriate.

"It was incredibly insensitive, it's almost macabre the way this has been handled by the Indonesian authorities," Mr Hockey said.

The police commissioner told Fairfax Media that he was trying to raise the spirits of the Australians and had no idea the photos were being taken.

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