Abbott tells Joko Widodo: Pull back from brink

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo to "pull back" from the brink, over the impending executions of two Australians.

His comments followed the Indonesian Government announcing the executions of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran would not go ahead this week.

However, the men are already awaiting the firing squad on a penal island, where the main obstacle to the executions appears to be transferring nine others on a list for the latest round of death penalties.

After an early morning candlelit vigil at Parliament House yesterday, Mr Abbott asked "how it could possibly help Indonesia to go ahead with these executions".

His increasingly urgent calls followed Defence Minister Kevin Andrews also not ruling out further act-ions that could affect the relationship between Australia and the south-east Asian nation.

While Mr Andrews would not be drawn on any specific moves, he said the government's entire focus was on convincing Mr Widodo that "their lives should be spared".

Mr Abbott told parliament that Australia was speaking with "one united voice, publicly and privately in every way we can", urging Mr Widodo to "pull back from this brink".

The pair was now waiting for the final order, as their families arrived in Indonesia to say their goodbyes.

Bishop pleas for swap

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has raised the prospect of a prisoner swap in a last-ditch attempt to spare the lives of two Australians on death row in Indonesia.

Ms Bishop confirmed on Thursday she brought up the idea with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi during a phone call on Tuesday evening, Fairfax reported.

"What we are seeking to do is have an opportunity to talk about options that might be available in the area of prisoner transfer, a prisoner swap," Ms Bishop said in Canberra.

"Absolutely no details [were discussed] but we are seeking an opportunity to explore every option that might be available, every avenue that might be available to save the lives of these two men."

Later, Ms Bishop told the ABC she hoped Indonesia and Australia could sign a memorandum of understanding should a prisoner swap occur.

Bali Nine: Aussie duo spend first night on 'death island'

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have spent their first night on Indonesia's "death island" and don't know how long they will wait for their executions.

The men on Wednesday left the cells at Kerobokan jail that have been their home for much of the past decade, since their arrest for the 2005 Bali Nine heroin smuggling plot.

Indonesia deployed its heaviest security for the task - more than 100 police, armoured cars and even fighter jets.

But the Australians walked calmly from their cells, thanking authorities for their care and shaking their hands before they were handcuffed.

Chan, now a Christian minister, took a Bible, and Sukumaran, an accomplished painter, took pencils and a drawing book.

They were flown to Nusakambangan, and spent Wednesday night on the island where they will meet the firing squad.

Their families are expected to arrive in Cilacap, the nearest town to the island, on Thursday, flying from Sydney and Bali.

They will be allowed to visit the men, Indonesia's Attorney-General HM Prasetyo says, but he is yet to announce a date for the executions, saying only it will be as soon as possible.

He is also reconsidering how many prisoners should be executed at one time, after planning for weeks for 10 to be shot simultaneously.

"We want to show the world that Indonesia is trying very hard to combat drugs," he said.

The prisoners will get 72 hours' notice of the executions.

There is speculation they will be this weekend, based on the executions of five people at Nusakambangan in January, which were held after midnight on a Sunday.

But Al Jazeera's Indonesia correspondent Step Vaessen on Wednesday night tweeted: "President Jokowi told me no executions this week at sidelines of interview I had with him this afternoon."

Lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran are still pursuing legal recourses and say they shouldn't be executed in the meantime.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday said Australians are "revolted" by the prospect of the executions.

Australia is continuing its efforts to seek clemency for the men, he said.

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