Christmas sentence cut for Australian drug mule

Christmas sentence cut for Australian drug mule

JAKARTA - Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby has had her sentence in an Indonesian prison cut by two months as part of an annual Christmas remission programme, an official said Thursday.

Ika Yusanti, the justice ministry prisons spokeswoman, said she was receiving the reduction for "good behaviour".

However the official was tight-lipped about the 36-year-old's prospects for parole amid speculation she may be released from jail on the resort island of Bali in the near future.

The island's corrections board in August recommended Corby for early release from the notorious Kerobokan jail but the process has been bogged down by bureaucratic wrangling.

Corby was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2005 for smuggling 4.1 kilos (nine pounds) of marijuana into Bali the previous year.

But she has received several remissions and a sentence cut of five years from the president after she filed an appeal for clemency.

If granted parole, Corby would still be bound to the island and obliged to report regularly to authorities. She would live with her sister on Bali under the terms of the parole agreement.

If she continues to receive the usual sentence reductions during her parole period, she could be free to return home to Australia by mid-2015.

Renae Lawrence - part of a group of Australian drug traffickers known as the Bali Nine jailed at Kerobokan - also had her sentence cut by two months. She was originally jailed for 20 years.

Under the Christmas programme, the justice ministry granted 8,429 prisoners across the country sentence cuts.

Sentences are routinely cut in Indonesia to mark major religious celebrations and the country's independence day on August 17.

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