Indonesia frees Corby on parole

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IOL pic feb10 indonesia corby parole board

Reuters

Convicted Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby has her head covered as she sits in the Denpasar Parole board office following her release from Kerobokan Prison in Bali on February 10, 2014. Picture: Jason Reed

Kerobokan, Indonesia - Indonesia released convicted Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby on parole on Monday after she had served nine years in prison on the resort island of Bali.

Corby, 36, escorted from prison through a jostling crowd of reporters, must remain on the island under the conditions of her parole, and will not be allowed to return to Australia before 2017.

“She will be required to report every month,” said Ketut Artha, the head of Bali's correctional agency.

“To control the fulfilment of her parole, the authorities will occasionally visit her home here.”

The former beauty student will live with her sister in Bali, according to media reports.

Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005 for trying to smuggle 4kg of marijuana into Bali.

Drug trafficking usually carries the death penalty in the world's fourth-largest country.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono granted Corby's clemency plea in 2012, reducing her sentence by five years because of good behaviour.

She has maintained her innocence, saying she was unaware she was carrying the drugs.

Corby was one of nearly 1 300 convicts approved for parole last week, the Justice Ministry said in a statement, because she “fulfilled substantive and administrative requirements as laid out by the law”.

A small group of Indonesian lawmakers at the weekend protested against her early release, saying it went against efforts to establish a zero-tolerance policy for drugs.

“The government talks about tightening remissions for corruption, terrorism and drug suspects but actually for drug trafficking, this isn't the case especially if you look at Corby's parole,” parliamentarian Eva Kusuma Sundari told media.

The release comes at a time of heightened tension between the neighbours over Australia's handling of asylum-seekers who attempt to reach the country via Indonesia and revelations last year that the Australian government spied on top Indonesians.

Reuters


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