News World Schapelle Corby counts down her final hours ahead of deportation

Schapelle Corby counts down her final hours ahead of deportation

schapelle corby free
Schapelle Corby is free. Now for the hard part - starting again at home.
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UPDATE 3pm: More than 200 police are now set to provide security at Corby’s Kuta villa and at the parole office ahead of her departure late Saturday afternoon.

Dozens of police aboard army troop carriers and in black police vans conducted a “practice run” through the streets at 1pm local time on Saturday, attracting the attention of local shopkeepers and pedestrians.

After almost 13 years, convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has packed her bags and is preparing to board a Brisbane-bound flight at Denpasar airport in Bali on Saturday after a final parole hearing.

Her departure, like her arrival all those years ago, will be surrounded by police, with the head of Kuta police taking extraordinary measures to secure the streets around her home and shield her from the army of reporters and cameramen besieging her.

Denpasar police chief spokesman Sugriwa told media that uniformed and plain-clothed police officers will provide security to ensure Corby’s safe exit.

Her sister Mercedes and her bodyguard, who has protected the likes of the Dalai Lama and Roger Federer, were expected to join her in the journey to the airport and then back to Australia.

“Police are securing Corby’s house because it’s not normal, there are too many people,” head of Bali’s Law and Human Rights Office, Ida Bagus Ketut Adnyana, said on Friday.

Once she leaves her villa, accompanied by her sister Mercedes and her bodyguard, she will attend the parole office before being processed by immigration officials at the airport. Authorities insist she will not be allowed to use the VIP exit.

She will be held by immigration until ready to board a late-night Brisbane-bound direct flight.

On Friday at 1.40pm (AEST), Kerobokan prison jail doctor Agung Hartawan and parole officials arrived at Corby’s Kuta home for a routine medical before her release, according to News Limited. By 2.10pm, she was given the all-clear and declared healthy and well.

Intense media interest

In the past two weeks, Corby has rarely left the villa she has called home, with a growing media pack parked outside the modest laneway villa, some even using drones to track her movements.

On Thursday, a television news crew had a bucket of soapy water thrown over the fence towards them into the laneway, spraying water on camera equipment and a mo-ped.

A hand-written sign on Corby’s timber gate posted last weekend read: “Stop invading our privacy. Immigration have been notified with footage of you putting the go-pro over our fence and cameras over the fence. So rude!”.

Media gather outside Schapelle Corby’s villa. Photo: Getty

One source told The New Daily Corby would be experiencing heightened anxiety despite being spotted last week going for a relaxed swim in a bikini on Kuta beach, buying last minute supplies and souvenirs and sharing lunch with her boyfriend, Ben Panagian.

Celebrity bodyguard John McLeod has been flown over to Bali to help with Corby’s departure. He was spotted arriving at the Australian Consulate in Bali on Thursday.

Corby was arrested at Bali airport with 4.1kg of cannabis in her bodyboard bag on October 8, 2004. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005 but served less than 10 years and was released from Kerobokan prison on parole in February 2014.

Mad dash to airport

While it’s still unclear exactly how Corby, once officially completing her parole obligations, will be transported to Denpasar airport, it is expected she will be accompanied by local Bali authorities and taken to either a holding cell at the airport or a nearby immigration centre.

Last month, Bali’s Ngurah Rai Immigration chief, Ari Budijanto, said Corby would be taken directly to the airport from the parole office and kept in custody.

“This is only a small matter, not a big matter. Corby is a common convict,” Mr Budijanto told News Corporation.

“It’s the media that makes this special.”

Once the pre-boarding paperwork is finalised for her departure and she clears Customs without incident, she is likely to be treated like any other passenger unless there are last-minute security concerns.

Speaking ahead of Corby’s deportation to Australia, her long-time parole officer and counsellor Ni Ketut Sukiati said the authorities all hoped it would be over soon.

“Please no more foreigners like this. It makes us so busy … We’re tired. Please just one Corby,” she said.

Family prepares for home-coming

Meanwhile, Corby’s mother Roseleigh Rose was approached outside her home in Loganlea, south of Brisbane, by reporters on Friday and asked how excited she would be to see her daughter home on the weekend.

“Well, yeah, it’s good, yeah,” she said on Friday, adding she’ll probably go for a surf before walking off.

Corby’s sister Mercedes lived in Bali on and off for many years during Corby’s incarceration and her subsequent release on parole, but moved back to Queensland in 2014 after separating from her husband, Wayan.

Mercedes moved back into the family home with her three teenage children.

She told Woman’s Day in August last year that “it’s the home we had before everything happened with Schapelle”.

Mercedes gave the first hint that the family home will be where Schapelle will spend her first night back on Australian soil.

“It’s where she will live when she comes home,” she told the magazine.

She reportedly now lives in a unit at the southern end of the Gold Coast.

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