Sun, Aug 18, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Australian drug mule a step closer to release

SENTENCE REDUCTIONS:If granted parole, Schapelle Corby would have to stay on Bali with her sister and be obliged to regularly report to local authorities

AFP, KEROBOKAN, Indonesia

The corrections board on the Indonesian resort island of Bali yesterday said it had recommended jailed Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby for parole.

The board said the 36-year-old should be released from Kerobokan jail to serve out the rest of her sentence on the island living with her sister.

‘GOOD BEHAVIOR’

Bali corrections board chief Ketut Artha told reporters the recommendation had been made to the Indonesian Ministry of Justice on Friday, in part based on Corby’s “good behavior.”

“All that is left for her parole to be granted is a decision from the justice minister,” Artha said.

While he said the decision could be made in “a month or so,” the Ministry of Justice’s Director-General of Corrections Nugroho, who goes by one name, said it would likely take longer.

“With foreigners, cases usually take two to three months, possibly longer,” Nugroho said.

Corby was handed a 20-year sentence in 2005 for smuggling 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali the previous year.

Having received several remissions and a five-year sentence cut from the president, Corby is currently due for release in March 2017.

If she continues to receive the usual sentence reductions during her parole period, she could be free to return home to Australia by the middle of 2015.

However, Corby’s name was not on the list of 202 inmates at Kerobokoan prison whose remission was approved yesterday.

Sentences are routinely cut to mark Indonesia’s Aug. 17 independence day.

RECOMMENDATION

Prison warden I Gusti Ngurah Wiratna said he had recommended a six-month reduction, and that it “could still be approved” by the justice ministry in the coming days.

If granted parole, Corby would still be bound to the island and obliged to regularly report to authorities.

Corby has gained the required letters of support from the prison, village head where she would live in Bali, her family and the Australian government.

She has been eligible for parole for around one year, but has held off lodging an application as authorities mulled the conditions of her release.

Renae Lawrence — part of a group of Australian drug traffickers known as the Bali Nine jailed at Kerobokan — was also missing from the remissions list.

Wiratna said he had recommended a six-month cut for Lawrence and 11 other foreign prisoners.

TERM CUTS

British drugs convicts Julian Ponder and Paul Beales were given recommendations for two-month cuts from their jail terms of six and four years respectively.

They were jailed in connection with British drug trafficker Lindsay Sandiford, who is on death row.

Indonesia enforces stiff penalties for drug trafficking, including life imprisonment and death.

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