Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Jail work could cut Corby's sentence

Schapelle Corby, left, and Renee Lawrence during a ceremony inside Kerobokan prison in Denpasar.

THE convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby may be eligible for a prison job that could shave years off the 20-year sentence she is serving in an Indonesian jail.

The departing head of Bali's Kerobokan Prison, Ilham Djaya, said yesterday Corby should be made an inmates' leader, a role that could cut 11 months a year from her sentence. Corby, who last month lost her final appeal against her sentence, was a "very good" prisoner, Mr Djaya said.

He said she should be considered for the rank of "tamping", a prisoners' supervisor, or the role of "pemuka", who oversees those with the rank of tamping.

Mr Djaya offered his support for Corby despite the former Gold Coast beauty student's controversial stint at Kerobokan.

Since her detention almost four years ago for cannabis smuggling, Corby has written a book describing the prison as a "disgusting slum". She missed out on a sentence remission last year after she was found with a mobile phone in her cell.

Corby recently denied reports aired on Australian television that she had been allowed out of prison to dine with her sister at a Bali restaurant.

Mr Djaya praised Corby and the heroin smuggler Renae Lawrence, who is also serving a 20-year term.

"Corby has a job gathering handicrafts from prisoners, like from sewing and knitting class. She has learnt everything," Mr Djaya said. "The handicrafts collected by Corby are then collected by the Buddhist Association to be sold in the market."

He said the role of pemuka would be good for a prisoner serving a lengthy sentence. "For a long-term prisoner like Renae or Corby it would be very good to be a pemuka," he said.

Mr Djaya described Lawrence as extraordinary. "She does her jobs very well," he said, adding that Lawrence had performed tasks such as fixing taps and cleaning. "Even the sewer, she is willing to clean it."

Mr Djaya was formally replaced yesterday by the incoming prison governor, Yon Suharyono, at a ceremony inside the prison complex.

Corby's lawyer, Erwin Siregar, who attended the prison ceremony, told reporters he had yet to decide whether to seek clemency for Corby from Indonesia's President. He was also still considering whether to seek another final appeal, even though Indonesian law makes no provision for this.

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