Dire warning for Corby
The backlash in Indonesia against Schapelle Corby's luxury accommodation and rumoured A$2 million (NZ$2.16m) interview fee is growing, prompting the head of the Bali parole board to pay an unscheduled visit to the villa compound where she's staying.
Ketut Artha, dressed in batik, not in the official uniform of his office, drove into the gated Sentosa Seminyak villa complex early on Wednesday (local time) without being recognised by the waiting media. He was with Corby's parole officer, Putu Andiani, and two others, and they stayed inside for about an hour.
After coming out, Ketut told Fairfax Media that Corby seemed stressed.
"She's still recuperating but she is not at a maximum level yet," he said.
Artha said he insisted that an Indonesian bureaucrat must sit in the room when and if Corby grants her first post-prison interview, so what she said can be relayed back to his superiors in Jakarta.
Artha is under pressure from the local media and politicians, who believe Corby should be living in the family compound of her brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha, and should not be paid millions for a tell-all about her experiences.
Ketut has already made it clear that she is entitled to live in the villa complex. However, there were certain things she could say in an interview that would be "fatal" to her continuing on parole.
"It's possible, but we'd have to review what exactly has been said, and it will be .. not instantly. If she says something [bad] ... we'll advise her, warn her, but if it's fatal, we'll definitely review [her parole]."
He would not elaborate on what those things were.
The governor of Kerobokan prison, Farid Junaedi, weighed in, warning on Wednesday that, if Corby were returned to prison for breaching any parole conditions, "it will be worse than before" because she would miss good behaviour remissions.
He also told the local Denpost newspaper it was "stupid" if she did an interview.
"On parole, she is still considered as a prisoner, though she's free and outside ... I've made it clear to the family that if she's willing to be interviewed, that would be stupid of her," he said.
Artha reiterated to Fairfax Media that Corby did not need any official permission to do an interview, but said: "We do expect them to advise us" so they could report back to Jakarta.
"We want to make sure that our [parole] officer is there to guide Corby, and then we'll need to report to our [department's] Director General to let him know what happened."
The comments will increase the pressure on both the Corby family and the Seven Network program which has apparently secured the first interview rights, to limit what she says about the Indonesian justice and prison systems.
Ketut said that he had spoken Corby's brother-in-law, Wayan Widyartha, who is her guarantor, and he had "assured me there is no interview scheduled yet".
The comments square with what TV host Mike Willesee told journalists on Tuesday, that, though he was inside the compound with the Corby family, he had no idea when, or even if, the interview would take place.
The head of the Bali justice office told reporters that the fact Mercedes Corby was now separated from Wayan made no difference to his ability to be Schapelle's guarantor. However, if the couple divorced, the guarantor would have to become a member of her family.
CRIME PROFITS COULD BE BLOCKED
The Queensland premier said Corby should not profit from her crime and he will see what can be done under the state's laws to prevent that.
The convicted drug smuggler was this week released on parole from Bali's Kerobokan prison.
She's rumoured to have secured a deal with the Seven Network worth A$2 million (NZ$2.16m) to tell her story.
Premier Campbell Newman said he would be asking his Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie if Corby could be stopped under Queensland's proceeds of crime laws.
"I am deeply concerned, in fact I am dismayed, that a convicted drug criminal has benefited it appears from her criminal activity," Newman told reporters in Brisbane today.
Newman said he respected Indonesia's justice system and its decision to convict Corby.
"I just think we need to recognise there was a trial in Indonesia, she was appropriately convicted, she went to jail and now it appears she's benefiting from this act and I don't think it's very satisfactory.
"So we will look and see whether that Queensland legislation has any application."
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop last week was reluctant to weigh into the debate, saying it was a matter for the Australian Federal Police and Department of Public Prosecutions.
Corby spent more than nine years in jail after being found guilty of importing 4.2kg of marijuana into Indonesia.
She has always maintained her innocence.
- Sydney Morning Herald, AAP