Not ‘open for negotiation’ on Bali Nine

Indonesia says the execution of the Bali Nine drug smugglers is not 'open for negotiation'.

Jakarta says the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are not open for negotiation, and has criticised Australia for revealing an offer to pay the cost of the men’s life imprisonment to the media.

Details of Australian offers to spare the Bali Nine pair, including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s correspondence with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, were published on Thursday.

Ms Bishop’s earlier offer of a prisoner exchange deal was rejected and she’s now awaiting a response on an offer to cover the cost of the life imprisonment of Chan and Sukumaran.

Asked about the offer on Thursday, Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the matter wasn’t open for negotiation.

‘I want to stress that it is not a matter of negotiation as has been said by the president and the foreign minister,’ he told reporters in Jakarta.

‘This is a matter of law enforcement.’

He was also keen to keep diplomatic correspondence on the subject private.

‘Official communication between governments, especially between foreign ministers or between two heads of state, as diplomacy or relationship between two countries, ethically, is something secret in nature,’ he said.

‘That’s why Indonesia would never reveal the content of a letter or communication between two ministers or two heads of state.

‘We regret when friendly countries do their diplomacy through the media.’

Chan and Sukumaran remain on Nusakambangan island where Indonesia intends to execute them for their 2005 drug smuggling effort.

There’s no date for the firing squad, with Attorney-General’s spokesman Tony Spontana on Thursday confirming plans to wait until prisoners’ legal appeals were exhausted, and execute 10 at one time.

‘That’s why we gathered them in one place, Nusakambangan, and up to today, there’s no changes to the plan,’ he told reporters in Jakarta.

One of the prisoners, Frenchman Serge Areski Atlaoui, has been taken off the Central Java island for an appeal on March 25, meaning the executions are potentially delayed until at least then.

Asked specifically if the executions would wait for that case, Mr Spontana said: ‘We’ll see if there’s a development, whether to wait or not’.

Chan and Sukumaran’s own appeal for mercy was adjourned for one week in the administrative court on Thursday.

Ms Bishop has said she will continue to put proposals to the Indonesian government, even if a date is set for the executions.