Bali Nine duo's execution delay encouraging

Lawyers for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have welcomed indications Jakarta will respect the ongoing legal appeals of several of 10 prisoners Indonesia is preparing to execute.

The Bali Nine pair were on Wednesday moved from their Bali jail for execution on Central Java's Nusakambangan.

Their wait for execution was expected to be so brief - a required minimum 72 hours - that they were allowed to take only a plastic bag each containing clothes and a bible.

Now they could be there for days or weeks, as Indonesian authorities wait for several prisoners' legal options to run their course.

A court in Jakarta will hear the next appeal on Thursday this week.

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Indonesia's Attorney-General HM Prasetyo can't confirm when the executions will take place or how many prisoners will meet the firing squad.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop has welcomed the news, saying she is hopeful "in my heart" that the development might reflect a change of mind by Indonesian authorities.

Lawyer for Chan and Sukumaran, Todung Mulya Lubis, also welcomed the news.

"I'm pleased to hear it, so let's wait for the legal processes, that's how it should be," he said.

Mr Lubis has challenged the clemency rejection for Chan and Sukumaran, arguing President Joko Widodo didn't follow due process when he didn't assess their circumstances.

The administrative court threw out the challenge and he's now appealing, with a date set for the same Jakarta court for Thursday.

The lawyers are also pursuing a complaint in the judicial commission after a former lawyer for Chan and Sukumaran alleged interference in the first trial that ended with them sentenced to death.


The Australian Bali Nine pair's legal appeal will be heard in a Jakarta court next week.

Chan and Sukumaran's lawyers are challenging an administrative court ruling that it did not have the authority to examine president Joko Widodo's decision-making process over their clemency bids and an investigation into claims that officials had sought bribes.

Michael O'Connell, one of the lawyers for the two Australians, said the delay was a "welcome development" as it represented "a shift in the previous position" adopted by Indonesian attorney-general Muhammad Prasetyo.

"Up until now, really, his position had been that clemency had been refused and so, therefore, Andrew and Myuran should be executed and they weren't really paying any regard to the other legal avenues that we had been pursuing," he said.

"We've been saying all along that what has to be done here is that the process should be respected and that the rule of law should be respected.

Australian lawyer Julian McMahon for the Bali Nine inmates faces a deep media scrum after he visited the execution island prison on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

"The indications that we've had yesterday are encouraging because there does now appear to be some regard to those principles.

"And that's very important and it does ... perhaps give Andrew and Myuran just a little bit of breathing space."

Lawyers for French and Brazilian nationals facing execution are also waiting for appeals to be resolved.


Government spokesman Tony Spontana said he could not put a time frame on how long the process of review might take.

He also mentioned technical reasons behind the delay.

"There is a facility that is not ready yet in Nusakambangan. We want everything to be 100 per cent ready," he said.

Suhendro Putro prepared coffins and bodies from executions at Nusakambang in January. Photo: AAP

"We also pay attention and give respect to the legal process that is currently occurring."

He said it was important for everyone to have clemency properly considered.

Bishop hopes for a 'change of mind'

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she hoped the delay represented "a change of mind".

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran await the firing squad after repeated pleas for mercy are rejected. Photo: AP

"There could be other reasons for the delay [but] I hope, in my heart, that it's a change of mind," she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Bishop's Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi has spoken about their phone conversation this week in which Australia offered a prisoner exchange to spare the lives of Chan and Sukumaran.

Ms Marsudi said she told Ms Bishop that Indonesia was not legally able to partake in the proposed prisoner swap.

She said while Indonesia understands Australia's efforts, it would also like its legal sovereignty to be respected.

Federal Labor MP Chris Hayes, who is a co-chair of the parliamentary group against the death penalty, welcomed the delay but said if the executions went ahead, they could affect diplomatic relations.

"I know there's legal proceedings afoot in Indonesia and that's one of the concerns we have had, that the sentences should not be carried out while there are still legal avenues being carried out legitimately in the courts," he said.

"Indonesia's a very close neighbour of ours, one which is absolutely important that we have good diplomatic relations with, but I suspect if the executions do go ahead it will make some difficulties ... with Indonesia itself."

The news of the delay came only hours after Chan and Sukumaran received their first visitors since entering Nusakambangan prison under tight security on Wednesday.

Consul-general to Bali, Majell Hind, and lawyer Julian McMahon met with prison officials in an attempt to negotiate further access to the condemned pair.

Ms Hind and Mr McMahon met with Chan and Sukumaran and said they were "doing well".

Officials were pushing for immediate access for the families, but it is understood they will not be able to visit until next week.

The ABC understands Chan and Sukumaran were able to spend time with consular officials and were looking forward to seeing their families on Monday.

Ms Hind was the main contact for the pair in Kerobokan prison and is now continuing that role.

PRISONERS INDONESIA IS PREPARING TO EXECUTE, AND THEIR LEGAL APPEALS:

- Andrew Chan (Australia) and Myuran Sukumaran (Australia) are appealing the administrative court's decision to reject their challenge of the clemency rejections with a hearing in Jakarta on Thursday

- Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso (Philippines) has applied for a second judicial review. Hearings took place in Jogjakarta this week and the Supreme Court is now considering her case

- Serge Areski Atlaoui (France) has applied for first judicial review, with a hearing on Wednesday in Tangerang, near Jakarta

- Raheem Agbaje Salami (Nigeria) is challenging his clemency rejection in the administrative court, with a hearing on Monday in Jakarta

- Silvester Obiekwe (Nigeria) is also challenging his clemency rejection in the administrative court on similar grounds

- Zainal Abidin (Indonesia) has been waiting years for the court's answer on his judicial review, according to his family.

THE OTHERS:

- Rodrigo Gularte (Brazil) According to the attorney-general's spokesman, has had a second opinion on his mental health, but the report has not returned

- Okwudili Ayotanze (Nigeria) - Martin Anderson alias Belo (Ghana)