The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that as Schapelle Corby prepares to celebrate her 35th birthday behind bars in Bali on Monday, July 9, 2012, she is at her “happiest” with renewed hopes of an early release from her 20-year prison sentence.
Behind bars since she was first arrested in 2004 with 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her checked luggage as she arrived on a flight from Australia, fears that a remission of five years granted by Indonesian President Yudhoyono was in jeopardy were ameliorated with the news that judicial efforts by a citizen’s group to invalidate the remission in sentence have failed before the National Administrative Courts.
When, exactly, Corby will walk free from the Kerobokan prison depends on a number of factors:
- A strict application of the five-year remission to her currently remaining sentence means Corby would be released in September 2017, several months after her 40th birthday.
- On the well-founded assumption that Corby will be granted further sentence cuts on Indonesian Independence Day and at Christmas, and calculating the maximum remission of eight months per year in return for sterling behavior, Corby could be released in early 2015.
- Technically, Corby would be eligible for parole as early as September of 2012, but the granting parole to foreign prisoners is highly problematic as Corby would not be allowed to leave Indonesia for the duration of her parole period and does not hold the necessary permits to work during the time she would be on parole. The Australian government would also have to issue formal guarantees on behalf of Corby together with separate guarantees from her family
Meanwhile, the head of the prison, Gusti Ngurah Wiratna, describes Schapelle now aware of chances for an early release from prison as "definitely the happiest she has been for a long time". Adding, "I feel that she's no longer afraid."
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