Schapelle Corby 'hallucinating'

MICHAEL BACHELARD
Last updated 19:47 05/03/2014

Schapelle Corby's parole may be revoked after TV network airs documentary about the convicted Australian drug trafficker. Sarah Toms reports.

Schapelle Corby pictured in a Sunday Night exclusive
Seven Network
ON THE BEACH:Schapelle Corby pictured in a Sunday Night exclusive at Seminyak beach for her first swim since her release from prison.

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Schapelle Corby locked herself in the toilet for an entire day and was still on "heavy medication" her brother-in-law has revealed as he begged the media to give her space and not to "twist" the family's words.

But as Wayan Widyartha was giving his plea, the Indonesian media was ramping up its demand that Corby be locked back in Kerobokan prison.

Wayan spoke to journalists outside his family compound on Wednesday saying the media presence was "the hardest thing" for Schapelle to take, even compared to the threat of being imprisoned again.

"It's the hardest thing, I think. She can't say anything, we can't say anything," he said.

He also said she was hallucinating about a large media scrum following her wherever she went.

"It's like illusion of peoples ... If she goes out, it's like she's still seeing people (crowding her). She's still traumatised."

Asked about her attempted suicide, Wayan sighed heavily and then said: "It's because of stress, she's mentally ill. We sometimes can't speak to her. She stayed in the toilet for the whole day, she's still on heavy medication ... for her depression."

The family had reportedly previously denied any attempt at suicide, despite comments of Bali Justice Office senior official Sunar Agus, who witnessed Corby take a knife and try to slice her wrist on Monday night.

Wayan said the family had "access to psychologist online," but he said it was too expensive to bring a doctor from Australia.

"The doctor visited her in prison. We also use [Bali's most prominent and respected psychiatrist] Dr. Denny Thong."

But Corby's mental state and attempt at self-harm have evoked no sympathy among the politicians or media in Jakarta calling for her to be imprisoned again.

Under a headline, "Waiting for tough action on Corby," Metro TV's morning Najwa Shihab called for immediate revocation of the Australian drug smugglers parole.

Referring to minister Amir Syamsuddin's comments on Tuesday that the Corby family was testing his patience, Najwa suggested the minister and the Indonesian government generally was testing the patience of the whole nation.

Metro TV is owned and run by a local tycoon, Surya Paloh, who himself has political ambitions.

An editorial in newspaper Media Indonesia said the Seven Network's Sunday Night programme interview with Mercedes Corby had "ridiculed" Indonesian "law and sovereignty" because it suggested Schapelle was innocent and had been "the victim in a set up" by Indonesian officials.

It accused the Indonesian government of a weak response, in contrast with the "tougher" action by the Australian Federal Police in raiding the Seven Network in a proceeds of crime investigation.

"Simply revoke the parole as soon as possible and send Corby back into the prison," the newspaper said.

Increasing the ammunition against Corby within Indonesia was evidence from the luxury Villa Sentosa Seminyak that the Seven Network was paying the Corby family's bill during their three week stay there.

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Bali Justice Office corrections division chief Sunar Agus said he still did not know the exact amount of the bill, but: "It's accurate information" that Seven paid the bill.

"However, it is not information we got from Mercedes ... she would not admit it. Mercedes told me there was no payment for the interview, no agreement (for payment)."

The information had come from the villas.

Sunar would not comment on whether the payment of the villa bill constituted payment for the interview, saying that was a matter for "interpretation", but the news may be used against the 36-year-old Australian by those now calling for her to be jailed again.

Corby was released on parole last month after spending nine years in a Bali prison on charges of smuggling 4.2 kilograms of marijuana into Indonesia in 2005.

Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin said Tuesday that the government is evaluating whether Corby's parole terms were violated by an interview her sister Mercedes gave to an Australian television network.

Indonesian authorities had warned Corby that any interview by her could breach her parole conditions, which stipulate she must not cause unrest. She must remain in Indonesia until 2017 and can be returned to prison to complete her sentence during that time.

Five officers had visited the high-profile parolee to discuss the Seven Network's programme about her release from Kerobokan prison last month.

Agus says an ''unstable'' Corby reacted badly when he raised the prospect of the interview resulting in a breach of her parole, but she was stopped from harming herself by her sister Mercedes and his colleagues.

He says the decision about the TV programme could still go either way, but speculation that Corby will be re-arrested is mounting.

Agus told reporters in Bali on Wednesday Corby's parole could ''possibly go on and possibly not go on''.

The incident he witnessed on Monday night ''affects this greatly,'' he said.

''What's obvious is that we have to concentrate on Corby's behaviour,'' he said.

''She's being tested on being free, (parole) is to test her preparation.

''What's needed right now for Corby is mental improvement.''

Counsellors had been provided, and parole officers only had their advice to go on, Agus said.

After revealing that Corby had told him she believes the media even watches her sleep, Agus said she had also asked for foreign journalists to be deported.

''I will not go there and will not do it,'' he said of the request.

Corby's case drew intense interest in Australia, whose media were focused on Indonesia following the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings and an attack on its embassy in Jakarta in 2004.

Many people questioned the fairness of the trial and the length of her sentence compared to the jail terms received by some of those convicted in the Bali bombings.

At least two other Australians are on death row in Indonesian in drug smuggling cases, and several are serving long prison terms.

HELPLINES

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling

Youthline: 0800 376 633 or free text 234 - Provides 24 hour telephone and text counselling services for young people

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling.

Tautoko: 0508 828 865 - provides support, information and resources to people at risk of suicide, and their family, whānau and friends.

Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (noon to midnight)

Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (4pm - 6pm weekdays)

If it is an emergency or you feel you or someone you know is at risk, please call 111

For information about suicide prevention, see http://www.spinz.org.nz

-Agencies

 

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