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Indonesian President Slashes 5 Years Off Prison Sentence of Schapelle Corby

(5/25/2012) President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has granted a remission of 5-years to Australian Schapelle Leigh Corby currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in Bali for smuggling 4.2 kilograms of marijuana onto the island on October 8, 2004.

As reported by Bali Post, the Minister for the State Secretariat Sudi Silahi said on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, “President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, based on considerations undertaken by the Supreme Court, has signed a decision to reduce the prison sentence of Schapelle Corby by five years.”

Sudi went on to explain that the decision to reduce Corby’s punishment had followed processes and procedures in accordance with the Indonesian law on sentence remissions. “We also asked for the opinions from the chairman of the Supreme Court and the related cabinet ministers,” Sudi added.

Sudi outlined how the Supreme Court’s considerations had determined that Corby’s request for a remission met all the requirements under law. Another consideration in reducing the sentence was the fact that there are several Indonesians currently being held in Australian prisons.

According to the Bali Post, a spokesman for Denpasar District Court in Bali, Amzer Simanjuntak, confirmed that his office had received a copy of the Presidential decision on Monday, May 21, 2012. “The President gave a remission or a reduction in sentence of five years, changing her current prison sentence from 20 to 15 years. Meanwhile, the additional penalty of a fine of Rp. 100 Million imposed in the original sentence remains in place,” Simanjuntak explained.

Corby was arrested on October 8, 2004 with 4.3 kilograms of marijuana in her luggage at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. This commercial quantity of drugs was discovered in Corby's bag when she disembarked an Australian Airlines flight. On May 27, 2005 she was sentenced to 20 years in jail after an internationally publicized trials.

The Australian beautician has experienced an up ad down ride on the length of sentence she must serve. On October 12, 2005, after an appeal by Corby’s lawyers the original sentence was reduced to 15 years. However, on January 12, 2006, a subsequent appeal by prosecutors to the Supreme Court saw the original sentence reaffirmed by the High Court and her punishment of 20 years behind bars reinstated. The latest decision by the president reducing her sentence to 15 years is, however, not subject to judicial challenge.