News People Bali Nine smuggler Renae Lawrence to be freed from jail

Bali Nine smuggler Renae Lawrence to be freed from jail

renae lawrence jail bali nine
Renae Lawrence with a Kerobokan prison guard in 2010. She is to be released from jail on November 21. Photo: Getty
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The father of Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence hopes she’ll be left alone when she returns home after more than 12 years locked up in Indonesia.

Lawrence’s father says he’s known for some time that his daughter will be released on November 21 after a series of reductions to her 20-year jail term for heroin smuggling.

“We knew ages ago she was getting out on the 21st. She just wants to come home and get on with her life. We hope everyone respects her wishes,” Bob Lawrence has told Fairfax Media.

Officials in Bali’s corrections division have confirmed the 41-year-old will be released from prison that day, before being deported to Australia.

She could be back on home soil with her family in Newcastle within 24 hours of leaving jail.

Lawrence was one member of the infamous Bali Nine, caught trying to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin from the Indonesian resort island to Australia in April 2005.

When she was arrested at Bali’s airport, she had 2.2 kilograms of heroin strapped to her back and legs.

renae lawrence bali nine jail
Lawrence talks with her parents shortly after her conviction. Photo: Getty

Lawrence is the only member of the drug ring that will ever taste freedom again, unless Indonesia authorities re-examine the cases of her co-conspirators.

Ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed by firing squad on another Indonesian prison island in 2015.

Another smuggler, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, died of cancer while serving a life term for his part in the plot.

The remaining five – Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj, Matthew Norman, Scott Rush and Martin Stephens – are all serving life terms.

In 2006, Lawrence used a media interview to apologise to the Australian public for the disgrace she brought on the nation, but insisted she was forced into being a drug courier after her family was threatened.

She said she was sorry for her actions but believed others would have done the same if they were in her situation.

Lawrence has used the more than 12 years she’s spent in various Indonesian prisons to learn to speak and read the local language, and has also turned to gardening as a form of therapy.