Drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has been granted parole.
Indonesia’s Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin said the Australian would get parole after serving nine years in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison for smuggling 4.2 kilograms of cannabis into the country.
Mr Syamsuddin made the anticipated announcement on Friday afternoon in Jakarta, while Corby awaited the news in Kerobokan.
Mr Syamsuddin made a confusing announcement but later released a statement.
The justice ministry’s press release read: “On 30 January 2014, the Parole Board Team in the Corrections Directorate General heard 1798 prisoners for participation in the parole program.
“One of the prisoners recommended to undergo that program is Schapelle Leigh Corby, a prisoner of Australian citizenship.
“Corby has been approved to receive parole because (she) has fulfilled the substantive and administrative requirements as set by the Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation Number 21 Year 2013 on the Requirements and Procedure for having Remission, Assimilation, Family Visit Days Off, Parole, Days Off Prior to Release and Limited Days Off.”
The minister said Corby was among 1291 parole requests he had completed of the 1700 he had before him.
The news was slow to filter through to reporters and onlookers outside Kerobokan jail, where there was a seasonal downpour of rain at the time.
Outside Kerobokan jail, prison boss Farid Junaedi said Corby would be out “soon”.
Mr Junaedi said the timing of her release depended on paperwork, which he hoped would be processed quickly.
“If they are signing it now, then we cannot hold it any longer,” he said.
When she is released, Corby, 36, will serve her parole in the Kuta home of her sister Mercedes and her husband Wayan Widyartha.
She was found guilty on May 27, 2005 and sentenced to 20 years’ jail.