After nine years in a Bali prison for transporting drugs, Schapelle Corby walked out the wall of Kerobokan prison on Monday, February 10, 2014 into phalanx of hyper-active press.
Wearing a self-styled veil to prevent photographers from capturing her image, Corby rushed to a waiting van that took her the offices of State Prosecutor to sign documents governing her parole to be spent in Bali until mid-2017.
While original plans were for the 36-year-old Australian to spend the more than 2-year period of parole in a multi-family compound in Kuta together with her sister Mercedes and her Balinese husband, a last minute change-of-plans sent Corby to luxuriate in the luxury Sentosa villas in Seminyak.
Press reports indicate that Mercedes has separated from her husband who also serves as Schapelle guarantor to prison authorities during the parole period.
Australian media reports Schapelle will been paid millions for an exclusive interview with Australian TV, news that has prompted a message from the Indonesian Ministry of Justice strongly discouraging Corby from undertaking the interview or any other act like to cause “public unrest” or displease the Indonesian people.
Separately, Queensland authorities are seeking to prevent Corby from profiting from her criminal acts by selling her story to the media.
Life “on the outside” for Schapelle Corby is shaping up to be populated with difficulties that, if not negotiated with great care, could send her back to prison, including:
- Schapelle Corby may have to forgo offers of substantial payments for “her story” or risk angering Indonesian authoriies and her parole officer who could revoke her parole at any time.
- Indonesian law forbids Schapelle Corby from undertaking any employment, paid or unpaid, without first obtaining the required permits from the Indonesian Manpower Department. A foreigner working without the proper permit in Indonesia is a criminal offense that could also send Corby back to prison.
- Indonesian law deems anyone resident in Indonesia as a tax object whose worldwide income is subject to income tax. Therefore any sizeable fees earned by Corby would be subject to the top Indonesian income tax rate of 35%.
- Schapelle Corby’s original application for parole was based on her occupying the multi-family compound of her brother-in-law in Kuta. This residence was inspected and approved by prison officials prior to her release. The estrangement of Mercedes from her Balinese husband apparently now make the Kuta compound no longer available to Schapelle Corby and could form the basis of a revocation of her parole if sutiable alternative accommodation cannot be found.
- Schapelle Corby’s Balinese brother-in-law has filled the required role of guarantor during the period of her parole. If he divorces Mercedes, he would no longer be a legal family member qualified to act as Schapelle’s guarantor. This, too, could form the basis of the revocation of her parole.
By any measure, life "on the outside" has become very complicated for Schapelle Corby.
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