Julie Bishop's final attempt to save Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has made an eleventh-hour bid to save the Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the firing squad.

Ms Bishop had proposed to repatriate three convicted Indonesian drug criminals in return for the lives of the two men.

It is understood Indonesia did not accept the offer during a tense phone call on Tuesday between Ms Bishop and her Indonesian counterpart.

The foreign minister has not given up hope for the Bali Nine.

Speaking at a vigil for the Bali Nine duo outside Canberra’s Parliament House this morning, Ms Bishop again asked Indonesia to show mercy to the two men.

“We ask the Indonesian government, indeed we appeal to the Indonesian president to grant a stay of clemency,” she said.

Related content: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will not be executed this week.

“First, there are still legal avenues open to the men and an appeal is being sought before the state administrative court.

“Secondly, there are allegations being considered by their judicial commission regarding bribery charges arising from the original trial.

“But most importantly the concepts of mercy and forgiveness have as big a place in Indonesian law as they do in Australian law.

“And we ask that their remorse be taken into account.”

“We ask that their remorse be taken into account.” Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Chan and Sukumaran’s rehabilitation had made them valuable to Indonesia.

“These men have become crime fighters and they are assets to Indonesia. And when you have an asset you don’t destroy it,” Mr Abbott said.

Related content: 5 things to say to people who support the death penalty.

Earlier, Indonesian president Joko Widodo said he had a constitutional responsibility to follow through with the executions.

“I as the President have to follow the constitution which still allows executions. And their verdicts have already been decided by the court,” Mr Widodo told Al Jazeera.


“When I rejected their clemency I also looked at their cases. How many drugs they were carrying, how much was distributed, how many kilos they distributed, how many hundreds and thousands of pills were distributed.”

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are awaiting execution at Nusakambangan prison.

However, he said the planned executions would not take place this week.

Mr Widodo’s comments seemed to tie in with the words of his attorney-general on the amount of preparation that still needs to be done.

Muhammad Prasetyo said Indonesia was working through technicalities such as ensuring the 13-member firing squads were ready and that inmates had their religious needs met.

Amidst great speculation about an execution date, he told journalists he was not keeping some kind of secret.

Related content: The Bali Nine duo have arrived on execution island.

Mr Prasetyo has given the president a progress report and the final decision on the preparations and date is in his hands, making him one of the most watched ministers in Jakarta.

He has also been told to keep the concerns of other countries such as Australia in mind, according to Indonesia’s cabinet secretary.

Chan and Sukumaran were transferred yesterday from Bali’s Kerobokan prison to isolation cells in Nusakambangan island prison in Central Java to await news about the timing of their executions.

The Australian pair are among a group of 11 prisoners who have recently been approved for execution by the Indonesian government.

The list also includes prisoners from France, Ghana, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and Indonesia.

This article was originally published by the ABC and was republished here with full permission.

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