Local News

Tears as Schapelle Corby farewells Bali 9

Schapelle Corby

Schapelle Corby

During a brief visit inside the prison walls yesterday, The Weekly spoke to inmates who said Schapelle had been moved to the jail’s “release cell”, in anticipation of her departure today.

They said Schapelle spent part of the afternoon yesterday farewelling fellow Aussie inmates, including Bali 9 death row prisoners, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

In what one witness described as “a really emotional moment”, the former beautician from the Gold Coast was seen embracing Chan and Sukumaran.

The Bali 9 duo are on death row for their roles masterminding the foiled 2005 attempt to smuggle 8.3 kg of heroin from Bali into Australia.

“She was sharing a few laughs with them, hugging them and saying her goodbyes,” said the source. “There were a few tears. They’ve been living the same hell for the past nine years, and tomorrow, all going well, she’ll be out of here.”

As the Indonesian Ministry of Justice papers rubber-stamping her parole made their way towards Kerobokan from Jakarta yesterday, Schapelle oversaw the packing of her belongings.

An eyewitness said several boxes of Schapelle’s personal effects were outside her cell, wrapped in plastic film and ready for collection.

“Her paintings have all been taken down in the art room,” the source said of the artwork Schapelle has created whilst in prison. “And the jewellery she had been making has been packed away.”

But if prison authorities were treating Schapelle’s release as inevitable, the 36-year-old Gold Coast native was reportedly less confident.

Sources said she was “anxious” after learning her parole had sparked a political stoush in the Indonesian parliament over the weekend with opposition politicians accusing the government of giving Schapelle special treatment.

“She says she’s scared to believe it’s actually going to happen and won’t believe it’s true until she walks out those gates,” said a prison source.

The source added Schapelle “felt sorry for the Australians she will be leaving behind”.

As well as Chan and Sukumaran, Kerobokan prison is home to other Bali 9 members, including Matthew Norman, Martin Stephens and Michael Czugaj – each of whom is serving a life sentence.

A large Australian media contingent is expected outside the infamous jail this morning following reports that the prison authorities intend to discharge their most famous inmate in the same way they would set free anyone else: via the front door.

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