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Seeking Release in Bali

Australian Government Issues Passport for Schapelle Corby Awaiting Final Approval for Parole form Bali's Kerobokan Prison

(2/3/2014) The Australian government, as reported by Suara Pembaruan, has issued a new passport for Schapelle Corby in anticipation that the convicted marijuana smuggler and 8-year resident of Bali’s Kerobokan prison may soon be released on parole.

Despite these preparations, Corby has yet to receive the final approval that would allow her to live outside the walls of the Bali prison and remain in Bali on supervised release until her formal sentence period is completed in 2016.

An Indonesian specialist at Melbourne’s Deakin University, Damien Kingsbury, says Schapelle Corby’s is nearing a release from the Bali prison. At the same time, Kingsbury cautions that the procedures needed for her release might be delayed or thwarted completely by a number of factors, including controversy over asylum seekers; the state of bi-lateral relations between Indonesia and Australia; the scandal of electronic eavesdropping by the Australian government on the Indonesian president, his family and cabinet; and Indonesia’s current preoccupation with a series of elections to be held in 2014.

Kingsbury said it is up to the Indonesian Minister of Justice. Amir Syamsuddin to agree to parole for Corby. "Schapelle Corby has gone through various steps in the process of applying for parole, and now awaits the Minister of Justice to give his OK. Then she’ll be free,” explained the Australian academic.

Kingsbury postulates that Jakarta politicians in the midst of an election year might avoid making any decision that would look “soft on Australia.”

Separately the Minister of Justice, Amir Syamsuddin, has taken pains to emphasize that the political context in Indonesia would have no bearing on Corby’s application for parole.

Kinsgbury, on the other hand, states there is no judicial process in Indonesia that is absolutely free of political influence. Similarly, he views the pending petitions to President Yudhoyono by “Bali Nine” members Andrew Chan and Nyuran Sukumaran asking to have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment may be even more problematic than Corby’s quest for parole.