Diplomatic row with Indonesia could delay Schapelle Corby’s parole

AN INDONESIAN lawmaker says claims that Australia spied on Indonesia should be taken into account in deciding Schapelle Corby’s parole.

As anger continues to grow in Indonesia over the phone tapping allegations, a powerful parliamentary committee says it will summon the Justice and Human Rights Minister in the next two weeks.

“The spying should be used as an additional consideration for the Justice and Human Rights Minister in Corby’s parole process,” Aziz Syamsuddin told News Ltd.

Mr Syamsuddin is the deputy chair of the House of Representatives Commission 111 on legal affairs. His comments come as the Bali Jail Governor says Corby has been anxiously asking about when her parole will be granted.


“If I am the Minister, I will reject Corby’s parole. But I am not the minister. So, we only can give suggestion to him,” Mr Syamsuddin said, as Indonesians continued to vent their fury over the claims that the phones of their leaders were tapped by Australian spies.

Mr Syamsuddin said the commission would have a meeting with the Justice Minister in the next two weeks to discuss issues around Corby’s parole application.

“Australia spying is harassment toward Indonesia. Indonesia should give a sanction to Australia. The sanction could be taking back our ambassador in Australia to Indonesia or even casting out the Australian ambassador from Indonesia,” he said.

The Justice Minister, Amir Syamsuddin, has the final say on Corby’s parole, which has now been bogged down in bureaucratic red tape for weeks.

Officials in Bali have given it the green light but Jakarta has the final sign-off. Several issues remain outstanding – an Immigration Department letter giving her permission to live in Indonesia while on parole needs to be secured, along with a new guarantee letter from the Australian Government.

Indonesian officials recently said the Australian Government letter currently on file was not on the correct letterhead.

Another committee member, Eva Kusuma Sundari, who has previously slammed the decision to grant Corby parole, said she did not want to comment further because she had been “bullied” by Corby supporters for her stance.

And the Governor of Bali’s Kerobokan Jail said that Corby has been asking anxiously about when she will finally walk out of the jail doors onto parole.

Farid Junaedi said Corby had asked him, during a recent meeting in his office: “Sir, how about my parole? Sir, how is it? Why has my parole yet to be approved?'”

Mr Junaedi said that shortly after taking over as Jail Governor he had called Corby to his office to find out more about the woman written about so often in the media.

“She is a beautiful girl, she is co-operative. She talked much,” Mr Junaedi said during a ceremony at the jail Tuesday.

“I explained about the parole procedure. I asked her to be patient … I talked with her in English.

“I said that the jail has conducted our obligation, sent the parole application. I said, just wait for the process.”

Mr Junaedi said he could not put a time frame on when Corby will get parole.

“We don’t know when the parole will be approved. Could be tomorrow, next week, or even next year.”

Mr Junaedi said that if Corby was not released on parole by the end of the year she would be recommended to get another sentence remission for Christmas.

Mr Junaedi’s comments came during a ceremony in the jail on Tuesday where inmates committed to keep and maintain public order in the jail.

Corby did not attend the ceremony but other Australians – Bali Nine inmates Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran, Matthew Norman and Scott Rush all attended. So did Australian woman, Sandra Sheed, who is serving an eight-month sentence for theft.

Sukumaran, who is on death row and waiting for news on his plea for clemency from Indonesia’s President, said news that Indonesia had executed a drug trafficker last weekend had been stressful.

The execution, by firing squad, of a Pakistani man convicted of attempting to smuggle 1kg of heroin into Indonesia, was the fifth execution in the country this year.

Sukumaran said: “Once I heard that someone was executed, I feel sad, stressed.”

SOURCE www.theaustralian.com.au