Schapelle Corby’s chances of staying out of jail have been given a big boost with the Bali Justice Office finding “no real evidence” that she had breached her parole, and saying that to revoke it now would be “reckless”.
The recommendation has been sent to the Indonesian Justice Minister, Amir Syamsuddin, who has said it will be the most important element in his thinking about Corby’s ability to remain free. He is expected to make his decision next week.
The corrections division head of the Bali Justice office, Sunar Agus, has told Fairfax Media that, in the crucial advice from his organisation: "We found no real evidence of Corby breaching her parole”.
Mr Sunar said the advice to the minister contains two options, A and B, but also revealed that it contains a recommendation.
"We, the [Bali] team believe that it would be better to allow Corby to keep her parole. Of the two options, we favoured the option of not revoking her parole … we believe to revoke her parole now could be seen as reckless act”.
Indonesia’s parole laws contain a wide discretion for authorities to send a prisoner back to jail if they are causing “restlessness” in the community. Corby’s luxury villa, which was paid for by the Seven Network, sister Mercedes’ decision to press ahead with the Mike Willesee exclusive, then her comment in the interview that the drugs ''could have been from Indonesia'' have all been cited by Indonesian media and some politicians as causing social upset.
But in its final recommendation, the Bali Justice Office does not appear to agree.
“As for causing restlessness, why don't you interpret it yourself? If there's no breach of conditions, how can we sanction someone?” Mr Sunar asks.
He said he had also recommended no other sanctions against Corby saying: “I do not have the authority to sanction”.
“But decisions are not for us to make. We just report the situation as it is. We analyse, evaluate, and then make our report to the director general of Corrections in Jakarta. The justice minister will be the one to make the final decisions.”
The minister, Mr Amir, will spend the weekend on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where he is contesting a seat in next month’s parliamentary election. He’s expected back in Jakarta on Monday.
Corby and her family have complained repeatedly about the ongoing media scrutiny and the pending decision about the revocation of her parole. A decision by the minister is likely to end both.
Earlier this week Corby took a knife her wrist during a meeting with officials at the Corby home, in what Mr Sunar interpreted as a suicide attempt and which Corby’s brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha admitted was a sign of stress.
“She stayed in the toilet for the whole day, she’s still on heavy medication … for her depression,” Mr Wayan said.
On Friday, two Australian journalists — Daniel Sutton from the Ten Network and freelance photographer Nathan Richter, were both deported from Bali for working on tourist visas.
Officials said it was simply a routine check.