Made Arya Kencana & Ezra Sihite
Denpasar. Australian drug convict Schapelle Corby is supposed to receive a six month reduction to her sentence along with other Indonesian inmates as part of the penal system’s commemoration of the country’s 67th Independence Day.
But Kerobokan Prison, where Corby has been jailed for over seven-and-a-half years, said on Friday they had yet to receive a decree from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry granting Corby the sentence reduction.
“We submitted the proposal quite some time ago, but there is no decision yet,” Prison Chief Gusti Ngurah Wiratna said in Denpasar on Friday.
He added that 381 other inmates at the prison had received their Independence Day sentence cuts, including eight foreign nationals.
“Of [that] figure, 15 inmates were immediately released,” Wiratna said, adding that the decree for Corby’s sentence cut should arrive over the next few days.
Separately in Jakarta, Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin confirmed that Corby was subject to a six month cut to her sentence during Independence Day, which he called the standard cut for other inmates in Indonesian prisons.
Corby was sentenced in 2005 to 20 years in prison after she was convicted of trying to smuggle four kilograms of marijuana into Bali.
She has so far collected 25 months of various remissions, and earlier this year obtained a five-year clemency from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, allowing her to walk free from the prison in Sept. 2017.
Corby, however, is expected to be released from prison far earlier — possibly as early as next year — as she should be eligible for a variety of additional sentence reductions.
Corby’s 20 year sentence has angered many Australians and activists, many of whom have maintained that she is completely innocent of the smuggling charge.
At the same time, Corby’s sentence cuts have angered many Indonesian activists who have called on the Australian government to grant a similar clemency to hundreds of Indonesian fishermen jailed for trespassing in Australian waters.
Sentence cuts in Indonesia are traditionally given to mark Independence Day and on major religious holidays — Christmas for Christian inmates, Idul Fitri for Muslims, Galungan for Hindus and Waisak for Buddhists.