Bodies of Australians executed in Indonesia arrive home: Reports

The bodies of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are escorted from the tarmac following their arrival at the international airport in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: EP
The bodies of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are escorted from the tarmac following their arrival at the international airport in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: EP
An ambulance carrying one of the bodies of Australian death row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran leaving a funeral home for the Jakarta airport on May 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
An ambulance carrying one of the bodies of Australian death row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran leaving a funeral home for the Jakarta airport on May 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Indonesian officers loading the bodies of Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on an Ambulance in front of a funeral house in Jakarta on May 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Indonesian officers loading the bodies of Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on an Ambulance in front of a funeral house in Jakarta on May 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
An Indonesian girl walks past pictures of executed Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan (right) and Myuran Sukumaran (centre), and Indonesian Zainal Abidin, at the Saint Carolus funeral home in Jakarta on April 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
An Indonesian girl walks past pictures of executed Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan (right) and Myuran Sukumaran (centre), and Indonesian Zainal Abidin, at the Saint Carolus funeral home in Jakarta on April 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Raji Sukumaran (left), Sam Sukumaran (right) and Brintha Sukumaran (second from right), the respective mother, father and sister of executed Australian drug convict Myuran Sukumaran, following the arrival of Myuran's remains at the Sydney Internation
Raji Sukumaran (left), Sam Sukumaran (right) and Brintha Sukumaran (second from right), the respective mother, father and sister of executed Australian drug convict Myuran Sukumaran, following the arrival of Myuran's remains at the Sydney International Airport on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Bouquets are seen in front of the home of the parents of executed Australian drug convict Andrew Chan in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Bouquets are seen in front of the home of the parents of executed Australian drug convict Andrew Chan in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Convicted Bali Nine drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran's mother Raji (left) and brother Chinthu (centre) are escorted to an awaiting car after arriving with other family members at the international airport in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Convicted Bali Nine drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran's mother Raji (left) and brother Chinthu (centre) are escorted to an awaiting car after arriving with other family members at the international airport in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Febyanti Herewila (centre), the widow of convicted Bali Nine drug smuggler Andrew Chan, covering her face after arriving at the international airport in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Febyanti Herewila (centre), the widow of convicted Bali Nine drug smuggler Andrew Chan, covering her face after arriving at the international airport in Sydney on May 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA

SYDNEY (AFP) - Relatives of two men executed in Indonesia arrived back in Australia on Saturday on a flight believed to have been carrying the bodies of the men, whose deaths Prime Minister Tony Abbott has criticised as "cruel and unnecessary".

Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 34, were killed by firing squad on Wednesday over their role in a plot to bring heroin to Australia from the Indonesian resort island of Bali, despite international pleas for clemency.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said the bodies were on the flight which touched down in Sydney early Saturday and also carried Sukumaran's parents, brother and sister and Chan's wife Febyanti Herewila.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was unable to confirm that the men's bodies were on the plane.

Chan's mother and brother arrived back in Sydney on Friday after the repatriation of the bodies was delayed.

Chan and Sukumaran were among seven foreigners executed in Indonesia in the early hours of Wednesday.

They had spent a decade in prison for their role in masterminding the so-called 'Bali Nine' group of smugglers, during which time Chan became a Christian pastor and Sukumaran studied art.

Prime Minister Abbott criticised the executions of the men, which has cast a shadow over Australia's relationship with its important neighbour Indonesia, as "cruel" and "unnecessary".

But he described as "odd" a decision by the Australian Catholic University (ACU) to introduce scholarships in memory of the executed pair for Indonesian students wishing to study in Australia.

"We did this because ACU is committed to the dignity of the human person, and that applies equally to all human beings: victims as well as to those who have been convicted of crimes," Vice Chancellor Greg Craven said.

Abbott said the men had met their deaths with a "kind of nobility", but he questioned whether that justified establishing scholarships in their name.

"I know part of Christian faith is forgiveness, but another part of Christian faith is calling people to be their best selves," he told commercial radio late Friday.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who came to power last October, has pledged tough measures against drug abuse, including no clemency for convicted traffickers on death row.

He cited dramatic estimated figures as a basis for his tough measures, saying about 50 people die of drug use each day in Indonesia.