CONVICTED drug smuggler Schapelle Corby will see the sun rise from the east coast of Australia for the first time in almost 13 years when she touches down in Brisbane on Sunday morning.
Known locally in Bali as the “ganja [marijuana] queen”, Corby is now considered a free woman on the Indonesian island and will be deported back to Australia tonight.
It comes 12 years to the day after the then 27-year-old was sentenced in Denpasar District Court to 20 years’ in Kerobokan Prison for smuggling 4.2kg of cannabis into Denpasar airport in her bodyboard bag in October 2004.
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Corby, now 39, served only nine years of her 20-year sentence after being granted clemency by former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the grounds of mental illness.
She had five years shaved off her sentence and was released on parole in February 2014 on the condition that she serve the remaining time of her sentence in Bali before returning to Australia.
Today, more than 200 Denpasar and Kuta police officers have been deployed in a massive military-style operation to oversee Corby’s deportation as she is ushered through Bali streets amid a frenzied media storm.
— TEN Eyewitness News (@channeltennews) May 27, 2017
Corby is expected to emerge from her Kuta home at, or sometime after, 4pm local time on Saturday (6pm AEST) from where she will be escorted by a police convoy to the Denpasar parole board.
Here, she will report for the last time and sign her release papers before being handed over to immigration.
Then, around 6pm local time (8pm AEST), police will escort Corby from the corrections office to the Ngurah Rai International Airport – also known as Denpasar International Airport.
It is here where, back on 8 October 2004, Corby was stopped by customs officers and found with 4.2kg of cannabis in her bodyboard bag.
— Robert Ovadia ? (@RobertOvadia) May 27, 2017
She will be escorted through the same airport as a convicted drug smuggler tonight from where she is scheduled to board a 10.10pm Virgin flight to Brisbane, accompanied by her sister Mercedes and bodyguard, John McLeod.
Her time at the airport will be brief, with officials citing “security concerns”. A large number of passengers on the flight are expected to be members of the media, eager to document her journey home.
Corby is expected to touch down at Brisbane International Airport just after 5.30am on Sunday.
It’s understood she will be banned from returning to Bali for at least six months.