No swap deal for Schapelle: Carr

THE Federal Government has not entered into a swap deal with Jakarta officials to free young people smugglers from Australian prisons in exchange for the early release of Schapelle Corby, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said.

The comments followed claims from Indonesian politicians that the five-year reduction to Corby's sentence was granted in response to the Australian government's review of 20 people smuggler arrests and subsequent release of three teenagers in Western Australia last week.

Senator Carr told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday the arrests were under review because it was "simply indecent" for "kids" picked up on fishing boats to be held in adult prisons.

He said if the decision to release the minors had "created a level of comfort in the government in Indonesia, that's fine by me" but denied an official deal had been made.

"At no stage has the government sat down with our Indonesian counterparts and said 'we'll release minors from our jails if you consider a clemency application by Ms Corby'," Senator Carr said.

"If there was no Schapelle Corby in a Balinese prison, we would still be obligated to do it."

Ms Corby has been in prison since she was arrested at Bali's international airport for importing more than 4kg of marijuana in her luggage in October, 2004.

On Tuesday Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed to slash her sentence by five years following her appeal for clemency in 2010.

She will be eligible for release in 2015.



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