Michael Chan (R), the brother of Andrew Chan, and Helen Chan, the mother of Andrew Chan, leave Kerobokan jail, Bali, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are destined to face a firing squad for their 2005 drug trafficking offence.
Michael Chan (R), the brother of Andrew Chan, and Helen Chan, the mother of Andrew Chan, leave Kerobokan jail, Bali, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are destined to face a firing squad for their 2005 drug trafficking offence. AAP Image - Putra Sinulingga

Abbott dials up pressure on Indonesia ahead of executions

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott says the government is increasing its pressure on Indonesia ahead of the imminent execution of two Australian drug smugglers.

Bali Nine members Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, have been on death row in Indonesia since they were convicted in 2006 for their role in a plot in 2005 to smuggle 8.2kg of heroin from Bali to Sydney.

The two Australians have exhausted all their death sentence appeals and their bids for presidential clemency have been rejected.

Mr Abbott's comments come after it was revealed at the weekend Australian embassy officials in Jakarta had been called to a meeting on Monday with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was further revealed the Indonesian Government had paid money for the release of its citizens facing the death penalty in other countries across the world.

The Australian contingent will join officials from France, Ghana, Nigeria and the Philippines, all countries with citizens on death row in Indonesia.

The meeting will discuss the execution process but it is unlikely the date the pair will face the firing squad will be revealed.

Mr Abbott said on Sunday that Chan and Sukumaran had done a bad thing and they deserved jail time.

But he said the two did not deserve to die.

"We are at the eleventh hour, but even at this late stage, we are maximising our representations to the Indonesian Government," he said.

"What we are asking of Indonesia is what Indonesia asks of other countries when its citizens are on death row.

"If it is right for Indonesia to ask and expect some kind of clemency, it is surely right for us to ask and expect some kind of clemency."

- APN NEWSDESK



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