It means Australia cannot violate Indonesian law and must respect the legal sovereignty of our country."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has indicated that it rejects Australias offer to swap prisoners, stating that this method was not known in the countrys legal system.

"The foreign affairs minister (Retno L.P. Marsudi) told her Australian counterpart (Julie Bishop) that Indonesias legal system or law does not recognize a prisoner swap. So the offer cannot be realized," a spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry Arrmanatha Nasir said here on Thursday.

Nasir confirmed that Bishop had contacted Foreign Affairs Minister Marsudi to convey the offer.

He added that Marsudi had received a telephone call from Bishop on Tuesday while she was in New Zealand for a bilateral visit.

Indonesia considered the offer as part of Australias efforts to protect its citizens, Nasir remarked.

He pointed out that Australia would try all possible ways to protect its citizens in Indonesia, but they should be in line with the Indonesian legal system and the diplomatic code of ethics.

"It means Australia cannot violate Indonesian law and must respect the legal sovereignty of our country," the spokesman emphasized.

Australia has been reported to have offered a prisoner swap recently as part of efforts to have its citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran released from being executed soon, following the rejection of their pleas for clemency by Indonesias President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

Australia has offered three Indonesia prisoners, now in the countrys jail over narcotic cases, in exchange for the release of Chan (31) and Sukumaran (33).

The duo, who were leaders of the Bali Nine drug ring, have been moved from Balis Kerobokan Prison to a maximum security prison in Nusakambangan, Central Java, ahead of their execution, along with another convict on a death row. They will soon face a firing squad.

The two were arrested along with seven other Australians while they were attempting to smuggle out 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Sydney, Australia, in 2005.

(Reporting by Yuni Arisandy/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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