Govt Seeks ‘Reciprocity’ on Corby Clemency

JAKARTA

The justice minister has said he does not oppose reducing Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby’s jail term, but suggested that Indonesians in Australian prisons should also receive clemency.

Corby, 34, was convicted in 2005 of smuggling more than four kilograms of marijuana and is serving a 20-year sentence at Kerobokan Prison in Bali.

She filed for clemency in 2010, and the justice ministry says it recommended last year that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reduce her jail term by five years.

But Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin said any decision on Corby should be reciprocated by Australia, which he said had “hundreds” of Indonesians in jail, mostly for people smuggling.

“So if it’s clear that we are paying attention to the plight of Corby, in reciprocity we hope there will be the same kind of attention from there (Australia),” he said on Tuesday.

“Generally, the Australian government is very strict in its laws, especially with regards to those linked to people trafficking. These are poor fishermen involved in people smuggling. There are hundreds of them there,” he added.

He did not spell out whether a decision by Sydney on jailed Indonesians was a precondition for Corby receiving a sentence reduction.

Under Indonesian law, the president has the final decision on clemency, including the power to order an immediate release, but is under no obligation to respond to the ministry’s recommendation or appeals by Corby’s lawyer.

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