Member log in

Schapelle Corby's $A3m payday

As Schapelle Corby  prepares to be be bailed as soon as Monday afternoon, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reiterated his warning that no-one should profit form crime.

The federal government has already used the seized $A128,000 from Corby's family under the The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 after the 2006 publication of her book My Story, and a related New Idea article.

"I guess the old principle is that crime should not pay," Mr Abbott told talkback station 4BC Radio.

But it looks like Ms Corby is destined to profit from her experience (the Queenslander has  always maintained her innocence over charges she attempted to smuggle 4.1 kilograms of marijuana from Australia, where it was worth more, into Indonesia, were it was worth less).

Top agents have estimated Schapelle Corby could earn up to $3 million for the full rights to her story, including her first post-prison interview, the Australia Financial Review says.

The AFR notes that while the Australian government ordered the Corbys to hand over Australia profits from My Story, Indonesia has no equivalent to the Proceeds of Crime Act. Ms Corby and her Balinese brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha were allowed to keep $A282,750 in earnings from the book. Indonesian authorities said they could not take action because the money was in the name of an Indonesian account holder.

If released Monday, Ms Corby is expected to live with her sister Mercedes, who lives in Kuta in southern Bali with her husband Mr Widyartha.

Ms Corby - currently held at Kerobokan prison in Bali, will be required to stay in Indonesia until her sentence expires in September 2016 - at which time authorities could either end her bail period or add another 12 months. If Indonesian authorities maintain a consistent stance, she will be able to bank earnings from any deal she makes in the days and weeks to come.

A point of reference for Ms Corby's possible payday is trapped Beaconsfield miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell, who earned $A2.6 million for an exclusive TV interview and a series of articles in magazines owned by publisher ACP (now Bauer Media).

And not everyone begrudges her possible payday.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Brisbane he was not "about to start kicking her".

"She's been locked up in an Indonesian jail for a very long time," he said.

Bail decision under attack
Meanwhile, Indonesia's Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin is under attack over his decision to grant Schapelle Corby bail.

The Queenslander was granted bail, Mr Syamsuddin said late Friday. She is due to be released on Monday.

Friday saw eight MPs from different parties sign a letter opposing Ms Corby's release.

One, Taslim Chaniago, from a nationalist and religious party, said the government is being soft on people involved in the drug trade.

Today, the government faced pressure from the Indonesian media, which is asking if Ms Corby is getting special treatment to smooth diplomatic relations with Australia.

Mr Syamsuddin reiterated his decision on Saturday, saying it is not a special case but simply one that follows Indonesian laws. The decision was not politically motivated, he said.

His deputy, Denny Indrayana, said Ms Corby would still not be allowed to leave the country after being released. He said just like other inmates who were granted parole, Ms Corby would be obliged to report to the authorities periodically, the Jakarta Post reports.

“This is proof that she has not gotten any special treatment,” Mr Indrayana said.

Former beauty student Ms Corbry (36) was jailed in Bali in 2005 after 4.1 kilograms of marijuana was found in her body board bag at Denpasar airport the year before.

She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 2012, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cut five years off sentence. If released as scheduled on Monday, Ms Corby will have served nine years.

Comments and questions
2

QED. Jail the media Barons for sponsoring crime. Too bloody obvious I suppose.

She has been locked up for a ridiculous amount of time considering her offence.It is long past the time she should be released.