Indonesian officials have approved Schapelle Corby's parole, opening the way for her to walk out of Kerobokan prison for the first time in over nine years.
When released, Corby may not even need to stay in her sister’s Kuta compound, where Australia’s media contingent is expected to relocate after she walks free.
And there is no obligation on her to admit any responsibility for the 4.2kg of marijuana found in her boogie board bag in October 2004.
In documents signed by Corby in Kerobokan prison last August, the Australian promised to abide by a series of relatively light conditions.
While on parole, she said, she would not use or distribute drugs, she would report at least monthly to the Bali corrections board, and that she would “dress neatly and appropriately for the officials”.
“If I cannot fulfill those requirements, I'm ready to be sent back to prison to undergo the rest of the sentence,” Corby confirmed in the documents.
Corby has also told corrections officials she would be productively employed designing bikinis for Wayan’s surf shop, according to the chief of Bali’s corrections board, Ketut Artha.
The board, BAPAS, which will watch for her welfare and behaviour after her release, will also make snap inspections of the family compound to make sure it remains suitable, but Corby does not necessarily need to live there.
Under Indonesia’s corrections system, Corby must have a home base, which will be her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha’s house.
But Ketut has confirmed to Fairfax Media that she is permitted to move from there to anywhere in Bali as long as she continues to fulfil the other criteria.
If she wants to leave the island and go to another part of Indonesia, she would need permission from the Justice Ministry.
However, Corby cannot go outside Indonesia until her parole is fully served, which is expected to be on July 25, 2017, after she has served an extra 12 months for “guidance”.
The unexpected rule about residency has led to speculation that the Corby family may try to secretly move Schapelle, who is reportedly still suffering mental illness, to another location within Bali to avoid the choking media scrutiny surrounding her release.
Organisations are staking out the prison 24 hours a day and have hired rooms in a guest house opposite the Corby compound, from whose windows the grounds can be seen. Some broadcasters have reportedly hired helicopter drones to carry cameras over the family home.
Moving Schapelle out would have the collateral benefit of ensuring the exclusivity of whatever paid interview the family manages to negotiate with an Australian TV network.
Indonesian law appears to impose no restrictions on what comments a former prisoner can make once they have left the system, nor on making profits from their experiences.
Corby also does not need to make any admissions, though in 2012 that law changed, and prisoners caught from that time on must show remorse for their crimes.
The rule initially did apply to all prisoners, but after a riot at a prison in Medan in 2013 it was made non-retrospective.
- Sydney Morning Herald