Schapelle Corby parole decision to be made on Friday, Indonesian justice minister says
Updated Thu 6 Feb 2014, 3:53pm AEDT
PHOTO: A decision on Schapelle Corby's parole is expected soon. (AFP: Sonny Tumbelaka, file photo)
Schapelle Corby will know tomorrow if she will be released from the Indonesian jail where she has spent the last nine years.
Indonesia's justice minister Amir Syamsuddin has confirmed that he will make a decision on Corby's parole appeal on Friday.
The former Gold Coast beauty student was jailed for 20 years in Bali in 2005 after authorities found 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her bodyboard bag at Denpasar airport the year before.
Mr Syamsuddin has told reporters in Jakarta that he has 1,700 cases to sign off on and Corby will not be receiving any special treatment.
But he says all the applications will be finalised on Friday.
"There are 1,700 inmates that have been processed by the prisons monitoring team (TPP). They all just need a review now," he said.
"Corby is just one of that 1,700. She's not a special case. As long as she follows every regulation, and that's based on the TPP recommendation, she has her rights.
"I'm about to finish it, but there's no special treatment for anyone. These 1,700 will all be processed together. They all have to be treated fairly, all of them."
Corby is hoping to be allowed to serve out the rest of her time at her sister Mercedes' home in Bali, outside Kerobokan jail, where she has been serving her sentence.
Prison chief Farid Junaedi says Corby has been doing an assimilation program, which prepares people for release and teaches them to make arts and crafts.
Corby has always maintained her innocence, with her defence team arguing she was a victim of an elaborate drug-smuggling syndicate run by baggage handlers.
A smuggler for all seasons
The Schapelle Corby story resonates not just because she's white with big and bewildered blue eyes, but because she represents an Australian caricature that's loved and loathed in equal measure, writes Lauren Rosewarne in The Drum.
But over the years she has exhausted her avenues of appeal, with no success in overturning her conviction.
She was granted a five-year sentence cut in 2012after applying for clemency from president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Combined with other small reductions in her sentence for good behaviour, Corby applied for parole after satisfying the requirement of serving two-thirds of her sentence.
Family friend Guy Pilgrim, who lives on the Gold Coast, says Corby's conviction never made sense.
"The fact that she had been there numerous other times and seen all the signs saying drugs carry the death penalty and whatnot at the airport, it is just impossible to believe that she would've willingly taken them over there," he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott responded cautiously to the news of the imminent parole decision when it broke on Wednesday, saying it is "ultimately a matter for the Indonesian justice system".
"Obviously the Indonesian justice system is a little different to ours, but it's theirs," he said.
"Australians who go to Indonesia are inevitably going to be subject to their justice system, just as Indonesians who come to our country are subject to our justice system.
"Generally speaking, the less said about consular cases the better, so let's see what the system produces."
Schapelle Corby parole decision to be made on Friday, Indonesian justice minister says - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
This will be interesting, her parole will be announced soon.