Indonesia to look at Corby clemency bid

Marty Natalegawa on Friday refused to confirm recent reports that his ministry had recommended President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cut the Queenslander’s 20-year jail term.


“It’s not for the minister of foreign affairs to be giving a running commentary on the benefits or otherwise of the clemency application,” Dr Natalegawa told reporters.

“This is a matter that will no doubt be given careful consideration by the relevant ministries concerned and especially by the authority that will grant or not grant the clemency.

“Let the natural process take its course.”

Dr Natalegawa said he was aware of Australia’s views on Corby’s case.

“I have been made aware of the continued concern and continued attention by the Australian government for the case,” he said.

“But I think the Australian government is also aware that there is a process that must be gone through.”

Corby was sentenced to 20 years’ jail after she was caught at Bali’s airport with more than 4kg of marijuana in her luggage in 2004.

After exhausting all other appeal avenues, Corby’s lawyers this year applied for presidential clemency on humanitarian grounds, saying she was suffering from a mental illness that could endanger her life.

A Supreme Court judge considered the bid and delivered his opinion to Dr Yudhoyono’s office in July. Sources close to the case say the judge recommended Corby’s sentence be halved to 10 years.

Dr Yudhoyono, who has repeatedly said he would not pardon drug traffickers, is expected to make a decision on Corby’s clemency bid in the coming months.

Clemency applications usually require prisoners to admit their guilt and apologise for their crimes, which Corby has not done.