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Talks ongoing for prisoner transfer, says Indonesian Ambassador


Harry Purwanto

Harry Purwanto

The Republic of Indonesia says it does not yet have the legal basis for prisoner transfer agreements with Nigeria or other countries.

Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, yesterday.

Purwanto however said that discussions to create such agreements were ongoing in Indonesia.

“We would like to have the prisoner swap agreement; however, we do not have any legal basis in Indonesia for that because of the limitations of our domestic legislation.

“Up till now, we have not yet come to that position, until perhaps our parliament issues a new legislation that would make it possible for the government to respond to offers for prisoner swap.

“There are pro and cons and discussions are still going on, but once other opinions become strong enough to influence the review of legislation in Indonesia, things will change.

“Once we have the legal basis for prisoner swap, we will do it with many countries, not only Nigeria,” he said.

NAN recalls that four Indonesians, six Nigerians, two Zimbabweans, one Indian and one Pakistani were executed in July for drug-related crimes.

According to the Indonesian Justice Ministry, about 121 people are currently on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mainly for drug-related offences.

The envoy explained that all legal processes were exhausted before those found guilty of drug-related offences were executed.

He reiterated that the laws for such offences in Indonesia remained strict, due to the damaging effects of drug abuse on its society.

“If we are talking about those who are on the death penalty list, we know that those cases have existed for a long time.”

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Harry Purwanto
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