Schapelle Corby asks Bali officials when she can return to Indonesia


Bali: With just weeks to go until she will be deported to Australia, Schapelle Corby has asked Bali immigration and corrections chiefs when she will be allowed to return to Indonesia.

Corby, who was arrested with 4.2kg of cannabis in her boogie board bag at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport on October 8, 2004, told officials she would fly back to Brisbane when her sentence ends.

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Corby in tears ahead of deportation

Schapelle Corby asks Indonesian officials when she will be allowed to return to Bali as the convicted drug smuggler prepares to return to Australia.

The head of Bali corrections, Surung Pasaribu, told Fairfax Media that Corby had tears in her eyes when he told her on Thursday she would be free as of May 27.

She said her journey had been a struggle and she was grateful she had almost fulfilled her sentence.

“She’s happy to go home, who wouldn’t be? She’s happy to be with family, to be with her mother, I think her father passed away.”

“She asked after she returned to Australia, how long until she can return to sightseeing in Indonesia?”

Corby, 39, has denied she has a boyfriend, despite reports linking her with Indonesian Ben Panangian.

Foreigners deported from Indonesia are generally banned from entering the country for at least six months.

However the head of Bali immigration, Muhammad Natsir, who also met with Corby on Thursday morning, said the ban was not up to immigration and she should check with the Indonesian Consulate in Australia.

“Her ban would be up to the arresting department, the initiator, not up to us.”

Corby was healthy but expressed frustration at not being able to lose weight because she was stalked by paparazzi.

“She said to me that she’s scared of the media, they followed her at home, when she’s jogging, at the beach. Everywhere,” Mr Natsir said. “She’s overweight now because she is too scared to go and work out.”

Mr Surung said Corby had initially been wary upon meeting him. However after she took off her motorcycle helmet they started chatting.

The Bali corrections chief asked her to speak in Indonesian, while he asked questions in English.  “We started talking, she started to cheer up. I can see the changes in her eyes, she started to smile, laughing, and at the end she got tears in her eyes when I said to her that next month, 27th of May, she’s free.”

Corby’s parole officers said she had been most cooperative and never failed to report for meetings or follow instructions.

“She always complied with the requirements,” Mr Surung said. “I went there to check if Corby really came to report and she did, we confirmed that.”

Corby was sentenced to 20 years’ jail in 2005 but had her sentence cut to 15 years in 2012 after she was granted clemency by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

She was released on parole in 2014 but was required to remain in Bali until her sentence ran out.

Corby has quietly lived in Kuta over the past few years and has rarely been spotted in public apart from occasional runs along the beach or grocery shopping trips.

Mr Natsir said Corby would be taken to the airport on May 27 and placed in an immigration room until her flight back to Australia. “The sooner her flight back the better,” he said. “We don’t want to cause her psychological (difficulty) by making her wait too long.”


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