Justice Ministry Backs Corby’s Clemency Appeal


The justice ministry has recommended granting clemency to Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby, whose lawyers argue she went insane after being jailed at Kerobokan Prison.

Corby, 34, was convicted in 2005 of smuggling 4.1 kilograms of marijuana into Bali and is serving a 20-year jail sentence at the overcrowded prison.

The prison houses murderers and paedophiles and has also been hit by outbreaks of violence, including in February, when it was taken over for several days by rioting prisoners after a gang stabbing.

“The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has given its recommendation to the Indonesian president that clemency be granted to Schapelle Corby,” the ministry official said on Wednesday, on condition of anonymity.

He gave no other details, such as when a decision could be expected.

The president has the final decision on clemency, and if he agrees Corby could be given a reduced sentence or even released.

Corby filed a clemency appeal about two years ago, when her lawyers said she should be released on humanitarian grounds because of mental illness.

Her lawyer, Iskandar Nawing, said that Corby had been driven insane at Kerobokan, one of Indonesia’s most notorious prisons, whose 1,000 inmates include 60 foreigners, 12 of whom are Australian.

“Corby deserves clemency due to her mental illness,” Nawing said. He added that an Australian psychiatrist had “examined her in prison some time ago and found that she has gone insane.”

“Before submitting our recommendation to the presidency, we made some surveys in the prison to know her condition,” the ministry official said, without elaborating on Corby’s physical or mental health.


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