Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Members of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party-led coalition may have agreed to end any attempts to file a legislative inquiry into the President's clemency for Australian drug convict Schapelle Corby.
Top politicians from the coalition camp met late Thursday through a joint lobby forum, known locally as Setgab Koalisi, to seek ways to head off legislative inquiry proceedings, according to a source who participated in the meeting.
The source said on Friday that coalition secretary Syarief Hasan, who is also the cooperative and small enterprises minister, urged all coalition members yield to Yudhoyono's demand and refrain from making remarks over Corby's clemency.
"The meeting, which was held at Syarief's house, resulted in a deal that we will no longer bring up the Corby issue," said the source, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Syarief did not return any of The Jakarta Post's text messages or calls for clarification. The Democratic Party's faction chief in the House of Representatives, Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, said she had no knowledge of the meeting.
The source said the meeting was attended by representatives from the Golkar Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the National Development Party (PPP) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).
Yudhoyono and the Democratic Party have an interest in seeing any attempts for a legislative inquiry collapse before taking wider support, they worry such a move may risk the President being removed from office before his tenure ends in 2014.
State Secretary Sudi Silalahi announced on May 22 that the President had granted a clemency request, which cut five years off Corby's 20-year prison term.
With the clemency deal, in addition to previous accumulated remissions, Corby may be released from prison later this year. She has been serving time at Bali's Kerobokan Prison since 2004.
The President's move sparked controversy among anti-narcotics campaigners, who have accused Yudhoyono of showing a serious lack of will in leading the country's battle against narcotics.
Golkar politician Nudirman Munir said he had no knowledge of the coalition meeting, and that the party would go ahead with the inquiry.
"We are still keeping the inquiry alive, and we will gather more signatures from fellow politicians to support it," he said.
The Australian government has pledged to release all Indonesian juveniles detained in the country as proof of its commitment to promoting the rights of children.
House Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso said the pledge was conveyed during a closed-door meeting with Australian Embassy's Charge d'Affaires David Angel on Friday.
Priyo claimed that Angel had said that the Australian attorney general was reviewing the juveniles' cases and would immediately release them.
"The acting ambassador told me that the Australian government had long planned to release all of our juveniles detained in Australia. He assured me that the release had nothing to do with the clemency granted to Corby," said Priyo.
"He also emphasized that the Australian government would release all Indonesian children without the [Corby's] clemency because they believed that it was wrong to detain the children," he said.
According to Priyo, the Australian government had released 49 children from different prisons and planned to release another 27 who were detained when the Australian government recently held 410 Indonesian fishermen alleged of people smuggling.
According to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, the Australian government has released 62 Indonesian minors after legal processing between 2008 and 2012, while another 126 children had been also released without charges during the same period.
Angel refused to verify Priyo's claims after the meeting.