Indonesia has suspended parole applications by foreign prisoners, an official said, crushing the hopes of Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby for repatriation by year-end.
Corby, who has been eligible for parole since September, was depending on a loophole in an Indonesian immigration law passed last year.
The legislation does not authorise the issuance of visas to foreigners who are on parole, meaning they would likely be deported.
“We have suspended parole requests by foreign prisoners as the new immigration law contradicts a current regulation,” senior prisons official Rachmat Priyo Sutardjo said.
Sutardjo explained that the regulation required convicts on parole – including foreigners – to “mingle with society” in Indonesia.
“But if they have no visa, they will either be placed in a detention centre or they will be deported, so they won’t be able to follow the regulation,” he said.
Sutardjo said the ministry would try and amend the regulation so it is in line with the law, a process which would take less than a year.
Corby, now 35, was convicted in 2005 of smuggling 4.1 kilograms (nine pounds) of marijuana into Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali. She has received several remissions to her original 20-year sentence.
But without parole, she is not due for release until 2017.
Indonesia enforces stiff penalties for drug trafficking, including life imprisonment and death.