Indonesia deports Australian ‘Ganja Queen’ Schapelle Corby

Schapelle Corby was arrested in 2004 at Bali airport with 4.2kg of marijuana hidden in surfing gear and sentenced in 2005.

Convicted Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby has returned to Brisbane after nine years in prison and three years on parole in Indonesia.

The former beauty therapist was arrested in 2004 at Bali airport with 4.2kg of marijuana hidden in surfing gear, and sentenced the next year.

Her case affected foreign relations between Australia and Indonesia and outraged many Australians, with some viewing her sentence as too harsh.

She proclaimed innocence throughout.

Hundreds of police officers were deployed to assist with Corby’s departure. Her sister Mercedes, who lives in Indonesia, shielded her from journalists’ cameras as they walked to a car.

Corby then posted a video on Instagram of the media scrum seen behind the vehicle’s tinted windows.

She was taken in a convoy from her Bali villa to the airport, to catch a flight to Brisbane.

Upon her landing, at about 05:00 on Sunday local time (19:00 Saturday GMT), she and her sister were reportedly ushered to a waiting convoy of vans.

Corby has also posted a picture of her dogs on her new Instagram account, saying she would miss them.

Indonesia’s drug laws are much stricter than Australia’s with no distinction being drawn between marijuana and other drugs including heroin and cocaine.

In 2015 two other Australians were executed after being found guilty of smuggling drugs.

In Australia Corby has commanded public sympathy as local media followed her struggles with mental illness behind bars. However in Indonesia she is seen as a criminal.

Bali corrections Chief Surung Pasaribu said: “We will pray for her that she will repent. God wants humans to return to the right path.”

Ms Corby’s sentence was cut by five years after an appeal to the Indonesian president, and she also received several remissions for good behaviour.

Although she was released from prison in 2014, she could not leave Bali under her parole conditions for three years.

Corby was the subject of a 2007 documentary, “Ganja Queen”.

 

Zainab Sa’id