Thursday, 5 April 2012

Corby decision could be made in months Thursday, April 05, 2012 » 06:28pm

Schapelle Corby may learn before the end of the year whether she has been granted clemency, but authorities have confirmed she is likely to face at least another two years in prison even if given early release.

The 34-year-old's bid for freedom has received a boost with a crucial report from Indonesia's Justice and Human Rights Ministry recommending that she be granted clemency on humanitarian grounds.

Corby, from the Gold Coast, was jailed for 20 years in 2004 for attempting to smuggle 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali in a bodyboard bag.

The clemency application, lodged about two years ago, must still be approved by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

It is believed the report from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry is in line with an opinion from a Supreme Court judge who recommended to the president's office in July 2010 that Corby's sentence be halved.

But senior officials in Jakarta have confirmed that while the Justice Ministry's final report is now with the president, a decision is likely to be months away.

An official also confirmed that if Corby was given clemency, any cut to her prison term would only apply to her original 20-year sentence, meaning the two years in remissions she has already received would not be taken into account.

'It's the president's prerogative to decide whether to grant or reject the clemency request, but with this, humanitarian considerations are being taken into account,' a senior official close to the case said.

'For the calculation, it's up to the prison authorities to set the date of when she's to be released.'

If Corby is granted clemency and a sentence cut of 10 years, she would be eligible for release in 2014 at the earliest.

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