Corby’s early release unlikely: Prison head
APParole for Australian drug-smuggling convict Schapelle Corby is unlikely given her poor record in jail, an official has said.
I Gusti Ngurah Wiratna, Kerobokan Prison warden, where Corby has been serving her jail term, said on Thursday that good behavior and participation in local community activities were part of the requirements that made a convict eligible for a parole.
“The requirements are complex and the assessment is very tight. For example, Corby must be active in religious activities. I have never seen her praying in church since I was named warden for this prison three months ago,” Ngurah told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
“That is only one minor example, and I believe there are others because Corby is a narcotics convict and a foreigner,” he said.
Ngurah said that members of Corby’s family or the Australian government had to file a proposal for parole.
News reports speculated that Corby might enjoy an early release in September following a five-year sentence reduction granted by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
In the country’s justice system, a convict may be eligible for parole if he or she has served at least two-thirds of his or her jail term.
The President’s act of clemency, taken together with an additional 25 months of remission that she has received since 2006, means that the 34-year-old Australian, who had been initially sentenced to 20 years in prison, will only have to serve about 13 years in prison.
Corby’s time in prison could further be slashed if the government grants another remission on this year’s Independence Day on Aug. 17.
Corby has never missed annual remissions granted during Christmas or Independence Day except in 2007 after she was found using a cell-phone behind bars.
Ngurah was quoted by tempo.co as saying that Corby was in high spirits when she heard that the President cut her 20-year prison sentence by five years.
"She was fine, giggly and healthy. She wasn't under any special medical condition," Ngurah said.
"She even took care of her nails, putting on nail polish."
Separately, Corby’s lawyer, Iskandar Nawing, said he would still try to file a proposal for Corby’s parole later this year.
Meanwhile, Law and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin reiterated that Corby’s sentence reduction was part of the government’s diplomatic strategy although he admitted it never got involved in deals with the Australian government to release Indonesians in Australian prisons.
He said that Indonesians imprisoned in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia had escaped the death penalty after Indonesia reduced sentences of nationals from those two countries jailed in Indonesian prisons.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Michael Tene said there were 449 Indonesians currently imprisoned in Australia, a large percentage of whom were in jail for migrant-trafficking cases.
“We can never dictate to Australia but, based on our success in saving Indonesians in Malaysia and
Saudi Arabia, Corby’s clemency may bring about the same outcome,” Amir said.