Australia and Indonesia working on prisoner exchange program


The death sentences handed down to Bali Nine kingpins, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have meant the Australian government is pushing ahead with a prisoner transfer deal with Indonesia. According to Justice & Customs Minister, Senator Chris Ellison, talks had begun in 2004 and have been met with co operation on the Indonesian side.

A prisoner exchange program, just as a extradition treaty, is a complex thing. I did some checking on the web about extradition treaties in Asia and its a nightmare! Some countries won’t extradite their own citizens (Japan), some countries don’t extradite citizens where death could be applied (Australia).

Seems to me the Australian government realizes its in a sticky spot regarding the death sentences. The AFP (Australian Federal Police) came under criticism for tipping off the Bali police, knowing death could be possible. Now its a reality, and one of the only ways to save those guys is to get an agreement that their sentences can be converted to a life sentence (the maximum possible sentence) in Australia.

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For the rest of the Bali Nine, they will also be beneficiaries of the deal when it happens. Personally I’d rather serve my time in Bali. With the right connections you can get a day at the beach and go shopping. That’s got to beat sitting in a cold Melbourne cell for ever.