June 29, 2006
A PRISONER exchange agreement with Indonesia would lessen the burden on the families of the Bali Nine, the mother of one of those convicted for drug smuggling said today.
A transfer agreement, expected to be signed in Australia later this year, could allow Australians convicted in Indonesia for drug smuggling to serve their time back home.
Along with the Bali Nine, the deal also could include Schapelle Corby, who is serving 20 years in prison in Bali for drug smuggling.
In exchange, dozens of fishermen convicted of poaching in Australian waters could be sent back to Indonesia.
Vicki Czugaj said the jailing of her son Michael Czugaj was taking its toll on her Brisbane-based family who have to pay money to support him in jail.
"Financially and emotionally, it is such a strain on us," Mrs Czugaj told ABC Radio.
"It's incredible, travelling over there all the time to visit, supporting him in the jail because they are not really looked after in the jails over there, so we actually have to fund that as well."
Mrs Czugaj said the prisoner transfer would be welcome if Michael had his sentence cut when he returned to Australia.
"It would be good if it was the same deal as Indonesia where they have reductions but I don't really know what is going to happen," she said.
Mrs Czugaj said her two oldest sons were in Indonesia and were expected to visit Michael in jail today to tell him the news.
He is serving a 20-year sentence for the role he played in the conspiracy to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin from Bali to Australia.
The two Bali nine ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumuran, have been sentenced to death.
Click Here for Bali 9 Case Information