Mercedes Corby apologises for TV interview

MICHAEL BACHELARD
Last updated 18:47 06/03/2014
Mercedes Corby
Sonny Tumbelaka/Fairfax Media
SORRY: Mercedes Corby issues the public apology outside her house in Kuta, Bali.

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Mercedes Corby has issued an apology “from the bottom of my heart” for any offence caused in Indonesia by her Sunday Night interview about sister Schapelle.

As Indonesian media networks spent another day criticising the Corby family over the interview, Mercedes is trying to mitigate the damage done when she speculated on the Seven Network program that the marijuana in Schapelle’s boogie board bag in 2004 “could have been from Indonesia”.

Meanwhile, Schapelle’s brother-in-law, Wayan Widyartha, also admitted that the family “can’t handle” the way the situation has spiralled out of control since the interview last Sunday.

Mercedes Corby appeared looking shaken and pale at the front gate of the family’s Kuta compound on Thursday morning.

"From the bottom of my heart, I am very sorry to the people of Indonesia if my interview on Australian TV caused unease," she said.

“I apologise if my words were disrespectful to Indonesia; I did not intend any disrespect. Our family are thankful and grateful that Schapelle is free on parole, and we thank the Indonesian government.”

She answered no questions.

Mr Wayan stopped briefly afterwards and said: “Everything is going big and we can’t handle it. Not in my mind”.

Asked if he was concerned that the Indonesian justice ministry might revoke his sister-in-law’s parole and return her to Kerobokan prison, he said "we're all worried".

"We’re worried. We don’t want her to go back. [For] nine years we’re sad," he said. He then switched to Indonesian to say “sakit hati", literally meaning “heartsick”.

“Nine years we’ve been sad, we’ve hurt, we’ve suffered,” he said. “We hope everybody understands and that they can help us with a successful parole”.

Schapelle herself was “a bit better” on Thursday, Mr Wayan said.

The Indonesian Law and Justice Minister, Amir Syamsuddin, appears no closer to making a decision on Corby’s fate, telling reporters late on Wednesday he was still seeking formal advice from the Bali Parole board.

On Thursday morning he left Jakarta for the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where he is seeking a parliamentary seat for the upcoming election, and where he will stay over the weekend.

The corrections division head of the Bali Justice Office, Sanur Agus, has confirmed that the minister has been given advice that he has two options on the table - to revoke Corby’s parole for causing community restlessness, or not to.

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However, he said: “We still haven’t finished our report; we still need to file our documents and it’s still in progress.”

Local TV network Metro TV has spent much of the week criticising the Corby family. On Thursday, the network ran yet another morning spot in which it used footage from the Seven Network interview to show Schapelle looking gleeful and happy.

The final shot, also taken from the Seven documentary, was of her “high fiving” a guard in the car as she left the prison.

- (Live Matches)

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