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National

Schapelle Corby parole verdict handed down

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Alexandra Back

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Schapelle Corby granted parole

RAW VISION: Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin answers questions about Schapelle Corby's parole. Nine News.

PT4M16S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-327ex 620 349
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The now-deserted carpark outside Kerobokan Prison.

The now-deserted carpark outside Kerobokan Prison. Photo: James Robertson

From James Robertson:

"The governor's statement (and a Bali downpour) appear to have dampened the press pack's heretofore potent enthusiasm. About a  dozen journalists remain but as the prison closes for the weekend, many have given up the chase."

And with that, we might wrap up our live coverage for the evening. There'll be more analysis and reactions to Corby's parole announcement in tomorrow's paper and online.

Goodnight.

From our reporter James Robertson outside Kerobokan Prison:

Schapelle Corby will spend the weekend in prison.

"During business hours," the governor of Kerobokan prison Farid Junaidi told reporters at a press conference when asked about her release.

This seemingly puts an end to speculation she could have left the jail tonight.

He said he had not yet received a letter from the Justice Minister.

"She will still be in Indonesia," he said of the conditions of her parole.

Farid said he understood the Australian consulate and Corby family would guarantee her parole.

 

Kerobokan Prison Governor confronts the media after the announcement on Corby's parole.

Kerobokan Prison Governor confronts the media after the announcement on Corby's parole. Photo: Justin McManus

Kerobokan Prison Governor anticipates Corby could be released as early as Monday afternoon, the ABC reports.

From our Indonesia correspondent Michael Bachelard:

Under her parole conditions, Corby will not be able to return to her Gold Coast home until July 2017. If she had stayed in prison she could have been entirely free and ready to return to Australia almost two years earlier — August 2015.

This is because, in the Indonesian system, a parolee misses out on remissions for good behaviour, and must also serve an extra 12 months of “guidance” to make sure they will be of good behaviour in future.

On her release, she has said she will live in Mercedes' house.

We're keeping an eye on Kerobokan Prison since there is still a possibility Corby will be released as soon as tonight.

Meanwhile, here is our Indonesia correspondent Michael Bachelard's full account of the announcement and what parole means for Corby.

After some initial confusion caused by the Justice Minister's ambiguous language at the announcement, an official press release issued by the Minister confirms that Schapelle Corby having "fulfilled all substantive administrative requirements" has in fact been granted parole.

It is up to the prison when she will be released.

The press conference is finished. We're seeking clarification on the Justice Minister's announcement, which was not clear on Corby's parole application. The Justice Minister said that 1291 parole applications have been finished. 

It appears as though Schapelle Corby was one of the prisoners granted parole today.

Asked about the parliamentarians who said Corby should not be granted parole, Mr Amir said Indonesia was a sovereign country "based on law".

"We are not seeking popularity, we just follow the rules, we uphold the law. Parole is not a gift from the state, it's a process a convict can apply as long as he or she meets the conditions."

"This parole is not a generosity," the Minister said.

"It is a right that is regulated by the laws of the land.

"We are a dignified nation and we enforce the law, and we don't look at who that person is, we look at the legislation."

The Minister has started his conference.

He confirms that Schapelle Corby was one of 1700 prisoners under consideration for parole.

And some more:

How long has Corby been in jail?

Corby has served nearly 10 years of a 20-year jail term. She was given a five-year sentence reduction in May 2012 and made an application for parole later that year.

If she is released, how long will she stay in Bali?

According to the terms of her release, Corby is expected to serve parole in Bali until September 2017.

Where will she stay in Bali?

Corby will be taken in by loyal sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha at their family compound in Kuta.

Why the fascination with Corby?

Her colourful family life, her looks, her insistence she is innocent, the familiarity of her background ... for whatever reason, the Corby case was thrown into the spotlight and the subject of fierce debate in the Australian media.

Will Corby stay in the media eye?

Onlookers say Corby may command up to $3 million for a television and magazine interview deal but could come up against proceeds-of-crime laws if she does so.

While we're waiting, have a look over these Q&As as a refresher on Corby's case:

Who is Schapelle Corby?

Schapelle Corby, 36, is a former beauty school student and shop assistant from Tugun, Queensland. She is the daughter of a coal miner and a fish and chip shop owner and has an older sister, Mercedes.

What happened?

On October 8, 2004, Corby was arrested entering Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport at Denpasar after 4.2 kilograms of cannabis was found in her bodyboard bag. She had flown from Brisbane, via Sydney, with friends for her sister's birthday celebrations before her bag was intercepted.

What happened in court?

Corby pleaded not guilty and to this day maintains her innocence. She was convicted on May 27, 2005 and sentenced to 20 years in jail. She has been held at Bali's Kerobokan prison since.

Did she do it?

Though Corby was found guilty of drug smuggling, questions have been raised over the way Indonesian authorities handled forensics and over the actions of baggage handlers in Australia. Some claim that evidence points to the marijuana being planted by Corby's late father, Mick Corby.

Where is Kerobokan prison?

Also home to the Bali Nine group of heroin smugglers, the notoriously grim mixed-sex jail is a short drive north of Kuta.

Our Indonesia correspondent Michael Bachelard now tells us the Minister has changed the location of his press conference.

There are now reports the Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin won't begin his press conference in Jakarta until 7pm.

We'll have a live stream of him addressing the media at the top of this blog when it starts.

It's still not certain when he will specifically address Corby's application.

Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin is interviewed by journalists in Jakarta in early February.

Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin is interviewed by journalists in Jakarta in early February. Photo: AFP

There are reports of dramatic scenes at Kerobokan Prison this afternoon.

Since they arrived on Monday, more than 30 Australian journalists have gathered in the tiny car park of the prison, which has become so familiar over the duration of Schapelle Corby's sentence.

After spending more than two hours inside Kerobokan, Schapelle's sister Mercedes emerged to face what had now built up to a violent throng.

One local reporter said: "I'm here to cover the circus."

Schapelle's sister Mercedes and husband Wayan fight their way through the media pack after visiting Schapelle.

Schapelle's sister Mercedes and husband Wayan fight their way through the media pack after visiting Schapelle. Photo: Justin McManus

Welcome to our live blog this evening.

At around 6.30pm (AEDT), the Indonesian Justice Minister will hold a press conference in the capital Jakarta.

The purpose of this press conference is to announce decisions on the parole applications of 1700 prisoners, including Schapelle Corby, the convicted Australian drug smuggler.

We have reporters Michael Bachelard in Jakarta and James Robertson at Kerobokan Prison where Corby has served her sentence. You can follow them on Twitter for live updates here: @mbachelard and @jamesrob

If Corby’s parole is confirmed, she could be released as soon as this evening.

"It's all possible," Goncang Raharjo, a spokesman for the Indonesian Justice ministry said.