Schapelle Corby is being deported from Indonesia tomorrow, and she’s very nervous about coming home to Australia.
According to the Australian, Schapelle received a final medical check-up today from the same prison doctor who treated her while she was suffering from mental illness in Kerobokan prison.
Feeling trapped in her Kuta home as the media frenzy continues, Schapelle Corby remains inside, nervous about tomorrow’s highly anticipated events. The now-39-year-old has been visited by various officials ahead of her departure, and tomorrow Schapelle will once again be forced to run the media gauntlet as she ends her 12-year stint in Bali.
Of course, nine of those years were spent in prison, but it’s been a long time since she’s been free to come home to Australia. Even though Schapelle was grateful to receive a five-year remission on her 20-year drug-smuggling sentence, she’s unhappy and worried about being forced to leave Ben Panangian, her long-term boyfriend.
Schapelle and Ben met in Kerobokan prison when they were both serving time for drug offenses. It’s doubtful that Panangian, as a convicted drug offender, would be eligible to enter Australia, and with Schapelle being slapped with a lifetime ban from Bali, any reunion between the two would probably have to occur in another country.
The first visitor Schapelle received today was Kuta Police Chief Wayan Sumara, who confirmed that Corby would receive a police escort from her home to the international airport. His reasoning is that Corby’s departure must not be allowed to disrupt society in Bali.
“There is no special treatment for her. Everybody gets the same treatment. Until now I haven’t see any threat to her, but whether there is a threat or not, the police must provide security.”
Next was Kerobokan prison doctor Agung Hartawan and Corby’s parole officer, Ketut Sukiati. They stayed for less than half an hour and assured the waiting media that Schapelle Corby was in good health.
The appearance of Schapelle Corby’s parole officer raised speculation that she would be able to proceed straight to Ngurah Rai International Airport without having to stop at the Denpasar parole office and sign release papers, as previously predicted. It is believed that Corby will be boarding a 10:10 p.m. Virgin flight to Brisbane.
Tensions are running very high between the waiting media and those inside the Corby compound, and it’s understood that a former police officer by the name of John McLeod has just arrived to assist Schapelle with the move.
McLeod is known as a “celebrity” bodyguard, having provided security for stars like Kylie Minogue, Leonard Cohen, the Dalai Lama, and Roger Federer.
As usual, the media have not been welcomed by Mercedes Corby, Schapelle’s sister, who has done everything in her power to get the media to leave them alone. Last week, Mercedes taped a note onto the outside wall of their home, demanding that the media stop invading their privacy.
“Immigration have been notified with footage of you putting the GoPro [camera] over our fence and cameras over the fence. So rude!”
For obvious reasons, Schapelle has become extremely media-shy, but tomorrow she will be forced to once again step into the spotlight as the world watches her leave Bali on her long-awaited trip home to Brisbane, Australia.
Ari Budijanto, Bali’s Airport Immigration Chief, has confirmed that Schapelle Corby, as a convicted drug smuggler, will never be allowed to return to the Indonesian resort island.
ABC News reported that Schapelle Corby’s home will receive extra police protection ahead of her long-awaited return home. The Kuta police chief advised that the streets surrounding Corby’s home will be secured prior to her leaving Bali. Schapelle has been holed-up in her home for a week now while the media camp outside day and night, waiting for her to appear.
Police Chief Wayan Sumara said Schapelle is not receiving special treatment, however, extra police will be deployed for her departure.
“I have to do the security by increasing the police keeping guard on the streets around here. I don’t see a security threat for her but we are responsible as police, whether there is a threat or not.”
Nine News reported that Schapelle’s original sentence of 20 years in prison, less some reductions in her sentence and presidential clemency, means that on May 27, 2017, the clock runs out on her sentence for smuggling 4.2 kg of cannabis into Indonesia.
Corby will find it strange being back in Australia after such a long period spent in an Indonesian prison. And it seems that Corby was so very close to never coming home at all. Ida Bagus Wiswantan, the original Indonesian prosecutor in her case, said that he and his colleagues were very close to asking the judge for the firing squad for Corby.
“For sure the death penalty was discussed. I felt that Corby can still rehabilitate herself so the death sentence is not the punishment. If she got the death sentence she cannot rehabilitate. But I felt that Corby has the chance to fix herself.”
Getting Schapelle Corby out of her villa and safely to the airport will not be an easy task. There’s the crippling traffic in Bali, as well as the growing media pack, all wanting their piece of Schapelle. And, of course, there will be many Australians interested in seeing Schapelle finally leave Bali for her home country.
It is also understood that Mercedes Corby is at it again – trying to sell pictures of her sister Schapelle, and an interview, to media outlets. At this point in time no-one has accepted the offer, but Rosleigh Rose has not ruled out a media deal for her daughter in the future.
Indonesian authorities say that whether Corby was guilty or innocent of the crime she was imprisoned for is irrelevant to them, but they say they’ll be glad to see the back of the “Ganja Queen.” They say that “Only God and Corby know the truth.”
According to News Australia, prosecutor Ida Bagus Wiswantan decided to give Corby a second chance despite her refusal to admit that she was guilty of smuggling 4.2 kg of cannabis in a boogie board case in 2004.
Corby’s mother, Rosleigh Rose, yesterday expressed her concerns about how Schapelle will adjust to life back in Australia.
“When she gets here and settles in, we’ll just have to make sure we get her out and about. We’ll be trying to get her back into the swing of things so she feels confident.”
It’s also unclear at this point where Schapelle will live when she returns to Australia. Her sister Mercedes lives on the Gold Coast, while her mother lives in Loganlea, south of Brisbane.
Balinese prosecutor's office awaits Schapelle Corby, for the final requirement of her parole. But will she show? pic.twitter.com/vBIHdDEeZr— Hugh Riminton (@hughriminton) May 26, 2017
Rosleigh Rose admitted that Schapelle has mixed emotions about returning to Australia, but that she personally is thrilled her daughter is coming home.
“I’m getting excited now — it’s been 12-and-a-half years coming.”
[Featured Image by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images]