Like sands through the hour glass so are days of Schapelle Corby inc…. She will arrive back in Australia with as much controversy as she had the day she arrived in Bali longer than a decade ago. I still stand by the scenario her family was deep into the dope trade and a key link in Bali either let them down by not letting the weed through or that person was removed and stuffed up their nice little earner. The OLD mad in my view died gutless and said nothing…A true dog…Robbo
Schapelle Corby arrives in Australia more than 12 years after drug trafficking conviction
Schapelle Corby has arrived home in Australia, touching down at Brisbane International Airport just after 5:00am, more than 12 years after she was convicted of taking marijuana into Bali.
- Schapelle Corby arrived at Brisbane International Airport about 5:00am
- Mercedes Corby seen arriving at mother Rosleigh Rose’s house at Loganlea, south of Brisbane
- Family spokeswoman asks for privacy as Corby readjusts to life back in Australia
Media and some of Corby’s supporters gathered at the airport from as early as 4:00am in anticipation of her return but she did not leave the terminal through the usual exit.
Instead, Corby and her sister Mercedes were taken off the plane first and whisked away in a black van with tinted windows, part of a larger convoy of eight vehicles.
Corby’s whereabouts are currently unknown as the convoy split up further down the Gateway Motorway.
Some of the vehicles went into Brisbane’s CBD while others continued on to the Gold Coast.
Corby’s security has since been spotted at the Sofitel in Brisbane where it is believed she is located.
Mercedes Corby arrived at her mother Rosleigh Rose’s house at Loganlea, south of Brisbane.
At Ms Rose’s house, one man was seen wearing a horror mask as he let people out of the property.
Spokeswoman for the family, Eleanor Whitman, said Corby’s “priority and focus” would now be on healing and moving forward.
“To all those in Australia and all those in Bali who have been there throughout this difficult journey, your support has not gone unnoticed,” she said.
“In the spirit of humility and the spirit of dignity, we ask all parties to show respect for the family’s privacy during this time.”
Corby and her sister arrived in Brisbane aboard Malindo Air flight OD157, not Virgin Australia as originally expected.
The flights arrived at roughly the same time, but the last-minute switch in Denpasar meant she did not share the plane with dozens of journalists who had booked on board.
In Brisbane, once it became clear Corby had left the airport unnoticed, one unidentified woman cheered.
“That’s the second time in 24 hours she’s fooled you,” she said referring to the media.
Corby was arrested in 2004 carrying more than 4 kilograms of marijuana in her boogie board bag and returns to Australia as a convicted drug trafficker who has served her jail time.
One of Corby’s key defences put forward by her legal team and supporters was that corrupt baggage handlers had placed the marijuana in her bag.
‘She was hiding her face, looked very nervous’
Brisbane man Tala Pauga, who was a passenger aboard OD157, said he recognised the Corby sisters as soon as he stepped on the plane.
“It’s like what you see on the media, that’s her face there,” he said.
Mr Pauga said the two were the first to be whisked off the plane once it landed in Brisbane.
Another passenger, Rowena Arias, said she was surprised to see Corby on her flight – who wore a scarf and had her head down in business class.
“She was hiding her face, looked very nervous,” she said.
Ms Arias said fellow travellers were told not to take photos of Corby.
Corby becomes overnight Instagram success
More than 200 police officers and private security guards made sure Corby was deported from Indonesia last night without a hitch.
There had been chaotic scenes as she negotiated her way to the Bali airport via the parole office where she signed forms guaranteeing her freedom.
She carried a bag with a picture of missing New South Wales boy William Tyrrell on the front, but the Where’s William campaign has distanced itself from Corby.
“While the Where’s William campaign appreciates that Schapelle Corby has shown concern regarding little William’s disappearance and in using her release as a convicted offender from Bali as a media opportunity to increase awareness that William is still missing, we are not happy,” a statement on the campaign’s Facebook page read.
“William’s family and their campaign to support the NSW Police in their investigation in the search for William have absolutely no association with Schapelle Corby, her supporters or her family and had no prior knowledge of Miss Corby’s intention to use William’s image in this way.”
Now Corby is back on Australian soil, she can speak freely but not for profit, with proceed of crime laws meaning she cannot sell her story.
The 39-year-old set up an Instagram account recently and began posting photos during her last hours in Bali.
She had tens of thousands of followers within hours, with the comments posted overwhelmingly supportive.
Thank god she was able to leave Bali quietly…NOT 27/05/2017
Schapelle Corby’s release from Bali and return to Australia
CONVICTED drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has been told she is free to go after signing in at the Parole Board one last time, in a high-level police operation.
The final paper work for her release has been signed at the Parole Office in Denpasar. She is now a free woman.
Corby has begun her long-awaited journey to freedom, leaving her Kuta home amidst dramatic and chaotic scenes, where she was bundled into a car.
Dozens of police and media and surrounded Corby as she was taken out the gate of her home in Kuta and shoved into a waiting black car with her sister Mercedes.
She had a scarf around her head, wore dark sunglasses and carried a handbag with a picture of missing Australian boy William Tyrrell.
Tyrell disappeared at the age of three from Kendall, on the New South Wales mid-north coast in 2014.
Bemused locals and dozens of Australian tourists barely caught a glimpse of Corby amid the crush of cameras as her car snaked its way out her laneway, surrounded by police running on foot.
As part of the convoy there were two trucks, five police cars plus the vehicle transporting Corby. It was the first time Corby had been seen in public in 10 days.
The journey from her home to the parole board took about 40 mins aided by police stopping trafffic at major intersection.
Shortly before 6pm Bali time, parole officials emerged from the office to hold up the freedom letter, telling her that her 15-year drug trafficking sentence was at an end.
It was the moment Corby has dreamed of for the past 12 years and eight months – the day, shortly before her 40th birthday, that she would no longer be a prisoner.
Corby entered the parole office, again shrouded by a scarf and spent about 40 minutes inside with officials, signing her paperwork and the all important freedom letter.
Earlier police had locked arms around the car to push back media as she left her home.
Corby’s brother Michael, wearing an old man mask, sat on the fence, taking photos of the scene.
Corby’s conviction and release from jail was chaotic and so was her release yesterday.
Before she left the home, Schapelle’s sister Mercedes told News Corporation; “Schapelle is holding up well”.
And, finding her voice for the first time, Corby broke her three-year public silence and created a brand new Instagram account. Her first post was a photograph of her two beloved dogs, Luna and May, with the comment: “Going to miss these two. My puppies #Luna&May”.
Within minutes of News Corporation revealing the Instagram account, Corby had thousands of followers.
And whilst Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika and local parliament members instructed officials not to give Corby any special treatment, yesterday’s scenes showed it was the opposite.
More than 100 police were involved, four police cars lead and shadowed her convoy from home to the parole office to the airport, dramatic rehearsals were held earlier in the day.
“Today Corby is free,” Surung Pasaribu, the Corrections chief at Bali’s Law and Human Rights Ministry announced with some enthusiasm shortly before the show started.
“Since midnight she was free, I think there is no problem.”
Corby en route to parole office
On the issue of Corby’s new Instagram, Mr Pasaribu said it was no problem.
“I don’t think it is a problem, but I don’t follow Instagram and I don’t really understand this Instagram even on my proper mobile phone I don’t have it,” he said.
He said the overwhelming response by authorities for Corby was at the behest of the Australian Government in Bali.
Governor Pastika also said that her safety must be protected at all times during her departure from Bali tonight.
It comes as more than 50 police, with tactical vans, sirens blaring and whistles blowing, conducted a dramatic rehearsal at Bali’s parole board yesterday.
Police also arrived at the laneway near her Kuta home to conduct a check. The actions in tthe lead up to her release gave a very strong impression that this was a special case.
News Corp Australia has obtained a copy of the notes from a special high level meeting held yesterday to discuss plans for Corby’s release.
The head of Bali’s Law and Human Rights Ministry, Ida Bagus Ketut Adnyana, this week briefed the Governor and members of the legislative assembly. He told yesterday’s meeting that the the Governor and parliament members had urged there be no impression that Corby is getting any special treatment.
“Although the direction from Bali Governor is that the deportation should run normally, but safety must be maintained as she was an ex drug convict that has become a highlight in her country, and it is not impossible she become a target of drug syndicate,” Governor Pastika said.
And the plans are that when Corby leaves the parole offices, the convoy of cars taking her to the airport does not drive fast, for reasons of safety and also in order to reduce the time she will need to wait at the airport for her flight home. An ambulance will shadow the convoy.
SCHAPELLE JOINS INSTAGRAM
Schapelle Corby has today created her own public Instagram account — which has more than 40,000 followers.
She wrote her fourth post — a selfie with her sister, as she approached the airport, writing: “Almost at the airport with my @mercedescorby.”
She wrote her third post as she approached the parole office, writing: “Good bye to this parole paper work. Approching parole office for the last time.”
Her second post shows her “Bali family” who she has thanked.
Her first post, as she remained holed up in her Kuta home counting down the final hours to freedom, was a photo of her two beloved dogs, Luna and May.
Schapelle wrote: “Going to miss these two. My puppies #Luna&May”.
Among those making comments on the account was her sister Mercedes, who is with her inside the home now and will accompany her on her final journey home.
‘WE HOPE SHE DOESN’T REPEAT THIS’
Surung Pasaribu, chief of the correctional department of the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said the overwhelming response by authorities for Corby was at the behest of the Australian Government in Bali.
“The consulate general said to us, ‘Please save my citizen’, so security is Indonesia’s responsibility to secure her to the airport so we will protect her for this while she in this country,” he said, adding “it was not special, just duty”.
“We just hope she doesn’t repeat this (drug smuggling) again and God also wants human beings doing mistakes to come back to the right path.”
He said he thought Corby was different to other prisoners staying at the ‘Bali international prison’.
He said once Corby signs her release she will be handed over to immigration officers who will escort her out of the country.
“I hope that we as Indonesians can always uphold human rights for anyone coming to Indonesia,” he said.
Normally the Parole Office has just two staff working on a Saturday but for Corby, chiefs called in 30 personnel from their usual day off.
Cindy Wockner on Schapelle Corby and her imminent return to Australia
CORBY’S HEAVY POLICE ESCORT
Around midday today, about 20 police were given a final briefing of procedures for the Corby exit in the parole office courtyard before dramatically, with sirens, horns and whistles blaring, they performed a full dress rehearsal with an armoured convoy of vans and trucks carrying another 30 police troops.
Two armoured tactical cars were in the convoy with one expected to carry Corby. People outside the parole gates were asking what’s happening, with local media and police yelling back “Corby, Corby” to which locals knowingly nodded.
“The marijuana queen finally leave,” said one local cafe worker passing by as police blowing whistles forced people to move on.
Present also was Titiek Sudaryatmi, the head of the parole office, and her staff many of whom have been involved specifically in the Corby case for many years.
Denpasar police chief Hadi Purnomo told News Corporation today it was planned to use the same vehicle which has been used previously to transport police murder suspects, Byron Bay woman Sara Connor and her British boyfriend David Taylor.
Known as a tactical vehicle, Mr Purnomo said it was planned to use that vehicle “for security reasons”.
“The car is usually used to take prisoners,” he said, adding that the Corby family had not sought this.
“No, not the family, we will use it for security reasons,” Mr Purnomo said.
Mr Widiada said four police cars would escort Corby from her home to the parole board and then to the airport.
More than 100 police will be deployed in the operation to ensure Corby’s freedom ride goes smoothly and there are no injuries or incidents.
Police also conducted a dry run at the parole offices of what the Corby arrival could look like to ensure she could make a quick entry and exit of the building.
At least 50 police are to be stationed at this location with others controlling the busy thoroughfare out front, at times chocked with Saturday shoppers, media vans and local onlookers, many eager to see the large police presence and marvelling at a low flying drone recording the scene.
Police spent some time walking about the building and streets looking at security measures.
Originally published as Schapelle Corby is a free woman
Corby leaves Bali villa to begin return
Schapelle Corby has left her Kuta home to attend the corrections office where she will report for the final time before she is deported to Australia.
These are the final steps in the journey that started 12 and a half years ago when she was caught at Denpasar airport with 4.2kg of marijuana in her boogie board bag in October 2004.
She was initially sentenced to 20 years in jail and spent more than a decade in Kerobokan prison.
Corby, 39, is now considered a “free woman” after her parole period ended just after midnight.
Head of Bali’s Law and Human Rights Office, Ida Bagus Ketut Adnyana, says Corby will be escorted to corrections in Denpasar to report for the last time and sign her release letter.
At around 6.30pm, she will go to the airport where she is due to board a 10.10pm Virgin flight to Brisbane.
Bali officials have said her sister Mercedes is “expecting a lot from security officials”, citing security concerns around the large media contingent on the Indonesian island and anyone else who “objects to her release”.
Officials say they want to keep her time at the airport brief, citing “security concerns”.
They are expecting around a quarter of the passengers on the flight to be from the media.
Mercedes Corby and her bodyguard, who has protected the likes of the Dalai Lama and Roger Federer, are expected to join her on the journey, as are correction officials.
She is expected to land in Brisbane – to another large media contingent – at 0545 on Sunday.
Her departure marks the end of the case that has put a strain on the often tumultuous relationship between Indonesia and Australia.
“Not only was it a major political issue between our two countries, it defined the bilateral relationship for a number of years,” President of the Australian-based Indonesia Institute Ross Taylor told AAP.
It also revealed Australia’s “distorted perception” of Indonesia as a very “narrow one” – with “Schapelle Corby, Bintang Beer, Bali, terrorism and boat people” becoming synonymous with our neighbour, he added.