February 27, 2006
FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer is in Jakarta today as part of the commitment by Australia and Indonesia to stamp out terrorism.
Mr Downer will deliver the keynote address at a counter-terrorism conference attended by officials and experts from more than 30 countries, include Australian Federal Police (AFP) chief Mick Keelty.
The Foreign Minister may informally press the case for clemency for two members of the Bali Nine who were recently sentenced to death when he meets his Indonesian counterpart Hassan Wirajuda.
The two masterminds of the Bali nine heroin smuggling operation, Andrew Chan, 22, and Myuran Sukumaran, 24, were found guilty in an Indonesian court, and sentenced to death by firing squad. The pair was found guilty of having provided the money, the airline tickets and the hotels to the drug mules.
"Those sentences are subject to appeal at the moment, and of course there will be no formal application from them for clemency until such a point as their appeals have all failed, should that point ever be reached," Mr Downer said yesterday.
"But, I will flag with the Indonesian Government that whilst we share their view that we must all be very tough on drugs and crack down on people who traffic drugs, it's the Australian Government's view that if Australians are sentenced to death, we would always appeal for clemency."
Mr Downer will also explain to Mr Wirajuda Australia's position as it considers whether to grant protection visas to 43 people from the Indonesian province of West Papua.
Indonesia's ambassador to Australia has warned that granting the visas could affect relations between the two countries.
"I'll be explaining to the Indonesian Government that (the visa process) is going through due process at the moment," Mr Downer said.
"Their applications are being considered one by one by the immigration department, and they will make an assessment consistent with the legal obligations that Australia has, including under domestic law, but also the 1951 Refugee Convention."
Bali 9 Case Information