Indonesian judge to recommend five-year sentence cut for Corby

Schapelle Corby bites her lip as the verdict is read out
PHOTO

Schapelle Corby bites her lip as the verdict is read out

VIDEO from Australia Network News

Indonesia correspondent Matt Brown reports from Jakarta

Created: 16/04/2012

Matt Brown, Jakarta

Last Updated: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 10:52:00 +1000

An Indonesian Supreme Court judge has recommended a five-year cut to Schapelle Corby's sentence for drug importation - much shorter than previously speculated.

Since the Supreme Court judge sent his recommendation to Indonesia's President Suslillo Bambang Yudhoyono in July 2010, there has been much speculation that he proposed a 10-year cut to Ms Corby's 20-year jail term.

But the confidential document, seen by the ABC, suggests just a five-year cut.

Mr Yudhoyono is yet to consider Corby's plea for mercy, but when he does he will base his decision on the judge's recommendation.

Corby was arrested in Bali in October 2004 and later convicted of attempting to import more than four kilograms of marijuana, hidden in her boogie board bag.

The judge cited Corby's relative youth, her training as a beauty therapist and ongoing treatment for mental illness as reasons to grant her plea for clemency.

"She was a student in a beauty school, she still has time to continue her study, because she's young, and for humanitarian reasons," the judge said.

"She is still being monitored by a psychologist."

However, he also said there was no evidence to back Corby's claim that the marijuana in her bag belonged to someone else.

"Since the beginning the convict kept denying the evidence was hers, that it belonged to other people. But there has been no evidence to support this," the judge said.

The document concludes by noting Corby is also eligible for the normal sentence reductions available to all well-behaved prisoners.

She has already received several of those remissions, which are granted each year on Independence Day and on religious holidays.

If Corby continues to win the maximum remission available each year and if the president goes along with the judge's recommendation, the earliest she is likely to be released is mid-2015.

Without the president's mercy, a well-behaved Corby will not be out until 2018.

Her lawyer and supporters continue to warn of her fragile mental health.

No immediate decision is expected because her case is not being actively considered by the Mr Yudhoyono's advisers.

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