Sums for Schapelle Corby interview 'ridiculous'

MICHAEL BACHERLARD
Last updated 21:01 13/02/2014

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Mercedes Corby has broken her silence about her sister's release from Kerobokan prison to say reports of a A$2 million to A$3 million payment for an exclusive interview with Schapelle Corby were "ridiculous".

"Recent media reports about payment to Schapelle for an interview are completely wrong. The sums being reported are ridiculous," Mercedes says in the video, which is shot with a window in the background through which lush vegetation can be seen.

Mercedes also responded to statements from the Indonesian parole office on Wednesday suggesting they needed to be informed if any interview were to take place and would have to be present to ensure Corby's welfare.

"When Schapelle is ready to speak, the parole officers will be informed."

Mercedes used the rest of the 42-second statement to hit back at Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, who is seeking to stop the family making any profit from the interview, because it is a proceed of crime.

"I am deeply concerned, in fact I am dismayed, that a convicted drug criminal has benefited it appears from her criminal activity,'' Mr Newman said on Wednesday.

Mercedes Corby responded that, "despite his comments", Mr Newman had been "so interested in this story that his government gave AU$567,000 for the production of a film for the Nine Network called Schapelle. This film was biased and inaccurate. It was based on a book where the major source was a convicted criminal."

The statement was pre-recorded by the Network Seven Sunday Night crew that is inside the luxury villa compound with Corby and then delivered on a USB drive by a member of the crew -  a sound engineer -  to an Indonesian crew from Metro TV, who distributed it to other media.

It gave no indication when the substantive interview might take place.

TV host Mike Willesee, whom the Corby family has praised, also spoke briefly to reporters on Thursday, saying he had "nothing to add" to previous comments which indicated he had no idea when, or even if, the interview would take place.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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