Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby's bid for early
release from Bali's notorious Kerobokan jail is on hold
indefinitely as Indonesian authorities move to close a
loophole that may have allowed her to return to Australia if
The development is a massive blow to Corby, who is already
eligible to apply for parole, after being granted a further
sentence remission in August, which followed a five-year cut
to her 20-year prison term in May.
Immigration laws introduced last year did not include visa
provisions for foreign prisoners released on parole, creating
a loophole which meant they would either be placed in
immigration detention or deported.
It meant Corby may have been able to return to Australia on
being granted parole.
But any hopes she had of tasting freedom before the end of
the year have now been completely dashed with parole
applications suspended as the regulations are reviewed.
It is likely to take months before the conflict between the
new immigration laws and the parole regulations are sorted
A senior official with the office of the director-general of
prisons has confirmed that parole applications for all
foreign prisoners have been suspended.
"In the new immigration law a foreign citizen who is
undergoing legal process or serving sentences is not able to
be given a visa," director for prison training and service
Rahmat Prio Sutarjo told AAP.
"If a foreign citizen (does not have a) stay permit, then he
or she has to go to (an) immigration detention centre."
"This is not a parole situation any more because it's still
"Submission of a parole request for foreign prisoners is
The review will pave the way for foreign prisoners who are
granted parole to be provided with documentation from
Indonesia's department of immigration that would be similar
to a visa.
It means foreign prisoners granted parole, including Corby,
would have to serve out the period of early release in
"With that permit, the prisoner can be released from jail (on
parole) and work among the society. But the prisoner would
still be banned from travelling aboard until sentence is
complete," Mr Sutarjo said.
Corby's lawyer, Iskander Nawing, confirmed that the
35-year-old's parole application could not be submitted until
the situation was resolved.
"We're still waiting for the immigration department to be at
one with prison authority," he said.
"There's still contradiction between ministerial regulation
on parole and new immigration law. I hope it would be revised
"Once it's revised, we will submit our parole request."
Corby was arrested in 2004 attempting to smuggle 4.1
kilograms of marijuana into Bali in a bodyboard bag.
She was granted clemency by Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono in May on humanitarian grounds, after
claiming she was suffering from a mental illness that could
endanger her life.