THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THURSDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2015
Subject: Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY OPPOSITION LEADER: Of course, it was disappointing this week to hear that the most recent legal case run by the legal teams of Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran in Indonesia was unsuccessful. But I am pleased to hear this morning that the Australian Prime Minister has managed to speak to the Indonesian President about this case. Of course, Labor welcomes any effort made by the Australian Government to contact the President of Indonesia or the Government of Indonesia and plead for clemency for these two young men. Of course we admit, and they admit, that they have done a very wrong thing, and we understand the Indonesian legal system requires a tough punishment. But Labor believes that the death penalty is always wrong, wherever it happens and to whomever it is applied.
JOURNALIST: Do you believe the Abbott Government is doing enough?
PLIBERSEK: I think it’s very important now that government and non-government actors are prepared to contact their colleagues in Indonesia. So there’s been a lot of work behind the scenes, bipartisan work - the Government and Opposition working together, the Attorneys General have written to the Indonesian Attorney-General, I’ve written with the Foreign Minister to the Indonesian Foreign Minister. We hear now that the Prime Minister has directly spoken with the President. For many months this contact has been happening behind the scenes and more recently it’s been happening more publicly. I think it’s very important that we continue do it in a respectful way that understands the Indonesian position on their legal system but nevertheless makes the strong point that Australians oppose the death penalty wherever and to whomever it’s applied and certainly for our own citizens we are pleading clemency.
JOURNALIST: Do you see any avenues left for them to pursue?
PLIBERSEK: Well there is still talk from the legal team of the young men that they will be able to appeal this most recent decision. And my view is while there’s life there’s hope, and it’s important we continue to use all these formal and informal avenues to make contact with the Indonesians.