KIERAN GILBERT: Let’s move on, I want to finish on some more serious, or very serious matters on the foreign policy front - Bali Nine. This is not looking good at all. Is it time for the Prime Minister to once again attempt to speak to President Jokowi?
JULIE BISHOP: I spoke to the families yesterday, they were in Indonesia, they are now going back to Bali. I talked to them and I just say, put yourself in the shoes of the families at present. It’s a terrible time for them, heartbreaking time for them.
But we have been making representations at the very highest level ever since it became apparent that Indonesia intended to carry through with the death penalty against convicted drug traffickers. And we take advice from our consular officials, we take advice from our Embassy on the ground and we are doing all we can to get a better outcome, a favourable outcome and we won’t do anything precipitous which could lead to an unfavourable outcome. In other words, push Indonesia into a place where we don’t want them to go. So we’re working very, very carefully behind the scenes. I make some comments publicly..
KIERAN GILBERT: It’s not promising though, is it?
JULIE BISHOP: Well Indonesia has already carried out its threat to execute prisoners. They’ve done that. We are pleading for clemency, for the clemency bids to be reconsidered, we are seeking a stay of execution. And I guess what’s so tragic about this is that yes, drug trafficking can attract the death penalty in Indonesia and I say that time and time again - and Indonesia is a sovereign country with its own independent judicial system - but their prison system has allowed Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran to rehabilitate. They are operating now in the prison by assisting other prisoners, they’ve undertaken courses. They have a quality of life. It’s not one that you or I would choose but they do have a quality of life and we are seeking a stay of execution so that they can continue to live that life. Now the prison system in Indonesia has enabled this to happen. There are prison systems around the world that would love to be able to claim that they can rehabilitate those who have been caught up in the drug trade.
KIERAN GILBERT: Foreign Minister, thanks very much for your time, appreciate it.
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