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Aussie drugs mule Corby paroled from Indonesian prison

Feb. 10, 2014 at 8:18 AM   |   Comments

JAKARTA, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby was released on parole from Kerobokan Prison in the resort city of Bali today after spending nine years in jail.

But Corby, 36, won't be going back to Australia soon.

The terms of her parole state she has been released into the care of her sister Mercedes and Mercedes' Thai husband and children who live Bali.

She must stay with them until 2017, but is free to travel around Indonesia under a strict regime of reporting to police stations, the Jakarta Post reported.

Corby -- who was once describes as "beautiful, attractive and polite" by the new head of the prison -- was 27 when she was caught, allegedly attempting to smuggle about 9 pounds of marijuana into Bali in October 2004.

She maintains her innocence and claims the drugs had been placed in her bags.

Corby was sent to Kerobokan Prison after being sentenced in May 2005 to 20 years in jail.

Police guards surrounded Corby as she left prion with her head completely covered by a hat and wrap-around scarf, jostling amid photographers and reporters.

Corby was driven in a minibus to a local police station to complete her release papers, the Post reported.

Her release comes after her sentence was reduced for good behavior and a petition to Indonesia's president.

Corby also suffered from mental health problems and had spent time in a Bali hospital for depression.

Her release, while welcomed in Australia, was criticized by some Indonesian politicians and an anti-drugs group, the BBC reported.

The Australian newspaper the Age reported Corby's her mother Rosleigh Rose and family and friends celebrated with champagne and dancing.

Her mother told Channel 7 news she was screaming and crying as she watched Corby leave the prison on television.

"It was just beautiful to see my beautiful Schapelle come out from those doors," she said.

Corby, a former Gold Coast beautician, exchanged her prison cell which she shared with as many as 13 women, sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder on mattresses on the floor, for a stint at the luxury resort and spa Sentosa, in the fashionable Seminyak district of Bali.

Exactly where Corby eventually will live is open to question, The Age reported. Her sister and husband are looking to separate.

Corby also could make a lot of money from her incarceration as media outlets are reported vying for the first interview.

Her release comes after a diplomatic rift between Indonesia and Australia in November that threatened Corby's chances of a reduced sentence or parole.

Relations dipped after the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the Guardian-Australia reported leaked material indicated Australia tried to spy on the Indonesian president.

Allegations included wiretapping the cellphones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and members of his inner circle, ABC reported.

As public and diplomatic tensions mounted, Australia's the Age reported at least one Indonesian parliamentarian called for Indonesia to block any chance of parole for Corby.

Indonesia recalled its envoy to Australia, canceled economic cooperation agreements and stopped working with Australia's navy on initiatives to capture people smugglers.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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