The subject of books, movies, hatred, support and conspiracy theories, the convicted Australian drug dealer Schapelle Corby is now a free woman – more or less.
After nine year in a Bali jail, Corby was released today after being granted parole on Friday and following a 20 year jail sentence handed down in 2005 for trying to smuggle marijuana into the island. Her case has attracted intense interest in Australia, with prolonged public debate over her guilt or innocence.
But many in Indonesia saw the former beauty student as a criminal who broke tough drugs laws, the BBC report.
The 36-year-old has protested her innocence since she was caught entering Bali in 2004 with marijuana hidden in one of her bags.
Corby was escorted out of Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison and in to a waiting minibus.
She left prison with her face obscured by a hat and scarf, amid chaotic scenes as dozens of Australian reporters and TV crew waited to capture the moment of her release.
She was then taken to complete parole formalities in the Balinese capital, Denpasar.
“We asked her how she was. She cried and said she was still feeling traumatised due to all the journalists,” AFP news agency quoted Agung Bagus Kusimantara of the Bali prosecutors’ office as saying.
Correspondents say that she is unlikely to be able to return to Australia immediately because she will have to remain in Indonesia until 2017 to fulfil the conditions of her parole.
She is expected to stay with her sister Mercedes, who lives in Bali.
Corby had received several remissions throughout her sentence because of good behaviour. Five years was shaved off it in 2012 after an appeal for clemency to the president.