Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Corby Is Not Mentally Ill Says Prison Chief


Australian drug-smuggler Schapelle Corby does not appear to be mentally ill, the head of her Bali prison said on Monday, as speculation grows over whether she will be released.

The 33-year-old has based a clemency application to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on psychological disturbances she clams to be suffering, in the hope she will be freed from her 20-year sentence for bringing 4.2 kilograms of marijuana into Bali in 2004.

Over the weekend, Corby lawyer Iskandar Nawing said he had received word from a source at the Supreme Court that reviewing judges had recommended a 10-year cut in his client’s term, information that was already public knowledge last year. The recommendation is meant as a guide for President Yudhoyono in reaching his decision.

If the head of state grants clemency Corby could be immediately freed due to over six years already served because she would be eligible for parole.

On Monday, Kerobokan Prison chief Siswanto told the Australian Associated Press news agency that he had not observed any signs of mental distress in Corby.

He said there had been occasions when she had “seemed to make herself ill or look like (she was) ill” in an apparent attempt to draw sympathy for her plight and bolster her case for release.

Last year Siswanto submitted a report on Corby to the president in which he also said she appeared to be healthy. Speaking about his report last October, he said: “She’s not mentally ill based on my observations of her on a day-to-day basis. She appears fine. She can look after herself, eat and even put on make-up.

“As an ordinary person, I see that she has no symptoms of insanity. If she’s said to be depressed and stressed, that’s reasonable as all prisoners face the same conditions.”

Corby is relying on reports on her condition by medical experts that her legal team says confirms her psychological condition.

Siswanto said she had learned of the possible 10-year cut in her sentence and that she was “behaving normal so far.”

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