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Confession could help Corby gain freedom

Schapelle Corby may need to admit for the first time that she is a drug smuggler, and show remorse for her crime, before she can be granted parole under new laws passed in Indonesia.

As Kerobokan's prison governor Ngurah Wiratna met Corby's lawyer on Friday, he confirmed that she would need to prove to the anti-narcotics police, BNN, that she was willing to be a ''justice collaborator'' in future, and also admit she was involved in the 2004 drug importation of 4.1 kilograms of cannabis for which she was convicted.

The new regulation signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in November throws up a hurdle for Corby, who is hoping to apply for parole soon so she can serve the rest of her sentence under the care of her sister Mercedes, who lives in Bali.

Corby has always insisted she was the victim of a scam run by Qantas baggage handlers at Sydney airport, who put the drug into her boogie board bag without her knowledge.

But the new regulation affects all prisoners serving sentences in Indonesia for drugs, terrorism, transnational crime, corruption and treason.

Iskandar Nawing, Corby's lawyer, admitted he had not yet spoken about the new provision to Corby's family. Other issues needed to come first, he said, particularly the refusal so far of Indonesia's immigration department to confirm whether Corby will be given a visa so she can stay in the country during her parole.

Two conflicting regulations have prevented any decision on that issue, and Mr Nawing has said he could not file for parole until the issue was clarified.

However, he said the letter signed last week by the Australian government, which has guaranteed Corby's good behaviour was ''a blessing from god for me and for my client''.

with Amilia Rosa, Bali