Anti-Drugs Group to Challenge Corby Clemency Ruling

Schapelle Corby.

An anti-drugs group has said it will challenge a presidential decision to cut five years off the 20-year jail term of Australian drug-smuggler Schapelle Corby.

The National Anti Narcotics Movement will file a lawsuit in a state administrative court that can overturn President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s decision last week to grant clemency to Corby, the group’s lawyer said.

“In Indonesia’s history, not one narcotics convict, local or foreigner, has ever received clemency from the president. This is the first case,” Yusril Ihza Mahendra said on Wednesday.

“Drug trafficking is a serious crime. Clemency should not be given to a person convicted of trafficking as they pose a dangerous threat to our young generation,” said Mahendra, a former justice and human rights minister.

“The decision sets a bad precedent and undermines the country’s efforts in eradicating drug trafficking in Indonesia.”

He said that the group would present evidence from the families of victims of drug abuse.

Indonesian lawmakers also plan to question Yudhoyono over his decision.

About 17 members of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), which is staunchly opposed to the ruling Democratic Party, called for the president to be summoned before parliament to provide clarification over the decision.

Under parliamentary rules, however, at least 24 members from a minimum of two parties are required to summon the president for questioning.

“This is a tragic decision. We want to know if the president made the decision under pressure from the Australian government,” Hanura legislative member Sarifuddin Sudding said.

Corby, 34, was convicted in 2005 of smuggling 4.2 kilograms of marijuana into Bali and has received regular small remissions in line with standard Indonesian practice to cut sentences twice a year.

She is expected to be released in 2017 at the latest.

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