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Transfer hope for Nine, Corby
By Cindy Wockner in Bali - February 28, 2006

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Alexander Downer hopes a prisoner transfer scheme with Indonesia can be arranged "reasonably quickly", but says that during a meeting yesterday with his Indonesian counterpart, he emphasised Australia supported Indonesia's tough stance on drugs.

Mr Downer, in Jakarta to address a terrorism conference, also had a breakfast meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda, where the subject of the Bali Nine was discussed.

Mr Downer told his counterpart that once all appeals for the two Bali Nine members on death row were concluded, Australia would make appeals for clemency should the death penalties for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran stand.

However, he said Australia's clemency appeals would not extend to the seven members who recently received life sentences for their attempt to export 8.2kg of heroin to Bali from Australia.

All members of the nine have lodged appeals with the Denpasar High Court.

The issue of a prisoner transfer scheme, to allow the seven Bali Nine members sentenced to life in jail, along with Schapelle Corby, to serve their times in Australian jails also had been discussed. The French Government has been attempting for several years to broker a similar deal with Indonesia. Mr Downer said he hoped Australia's deal could be negotiated in parallel or ahead of the French agreement.

"I think they are sympathetic to that idea and I hope that we can process this reasonably quickly," he said after the meeting.

The two ministers also discussed beginning joint naval patrols of the waters between Australia and Indonesia in a bid to stamp out illegal fishing.

"If both of us can find the resources for these joint naval patrols, it would be a very substantial disincentive for illegal fishing and other illegal activities," he said.

In the past year, 252 Indonesian vessels have been apprehended for illegal fishing in northern waters in what is an increasing problem for maintaining the integrity of the waters.

Bali 9 Case Information - Schapelle Corby Case Information

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