17 April 2011

Schapelle Corby To Be Released?

I have not written on Ms. Corby's case or the "suffering" she is 'enduring' in Kerobokan prison on the holiday paradise island of Bali in my second home of Indonesia. There is no reason for this other than there not being anything newsworthy or of note to write about until now.

The latest news is a push seemingly by Corby's Indonesian lawyer, Iskandar Nawing, presumably on the insistence of the Corby family. The reality is that the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or SBY to his mates, has had the clemency appeal since July 2010 and has yet to act on it. I suppose I could speculate as to why that is, but I won't for now. I will wait and see what comments, if any, get made to this post.

There has been no official statement from the Indonesian Supreme Court, at least as far as I recall (note to self: go back and check through files), that says exactly what the Supreme Court recommendation was. But, most pundits believe that the recommendation was for a sentence cut of 10 years on the original 20-year sentence. Under Indonesian law a prisoner becomes eligible for parole after having served 2/3 of their sentence. Corby has been in jail for about 6.5 years and as such she would be getting close to making an application for release.

Parole, like anywhere else, can be complicated by a number of issues. As such the application for release would be assessed against a whole range of criteria including not only the prisoners behaviour during their incarceration, but also what is in the best interest of the prisoner and their state of health.

It would seem that Nawing's push is a clear attempt to get some resolution on the clemency appeal by trying to force SBY's hand. However, it is interesting that no one is talking about why SBY has not signed off on the recommendation.