The Presidential Office has confirmed that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has granted convicted Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby’s appeal to have her prison term cut.
“It’s true that the President has signed and approved Corby’s plea for a sentence cut,” presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
A high-ranking government official earlier said that the government had agreed to cut five years off Corby’s 20-year prison term, which was approved by the Supreme Court.
Corby was convicted in 2004 for attempting to smuggle 4.1 kilograms of marijuana into Bali in a body-board bag.
Corby first launched her bid for clemency in March 2010, arguing that she was suffering from mental illness at the time of the offense and that she was struggling to cope with life inside Bali’s notorious Kerobokan Penitentiary, which was endangering her life.
According to the 2002 Clemency Law, the President is obliged to ask for the Supreme Court’s advice when considering any clemency proposals.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of Corby says he is happy with the decision from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to grant a prison-term cut.
Iskandar Nawing, said late Tuesday that he was unaware of the news before reading about it in the media, adding that he would deliver the “good news” to his client on Wednesday.
“I really appreciate the President’s decision to grant Corby’s appeal,” he said.
He said that his camp was still unsure of when the Australian would be freed, but added that he was hoping that it could be “as soon as possible”.
“I could not give you the exact date of when Corby will be free from the imprisonment. We must check all of the remissions that she has already gotten,” Iskandar said.