Skooter reporting 05/23/12
Australia dismissed report Wednesday that it had agreed to treat young Indonesian people smugglers moderately in return for Indonesia dropping the prison sentence of a high-profile Australian drug trafficker.
But Foreign Ministeradmitted that Indonesians saw a connection between the treatment of Australian Schapelle Corby and young Indonesians held in Australian prisons.
Schapelle Corby, 34, had known in a Bali prison on Tuesday that Indonesian Presidenthad approved a five-year cutback of a 20-year sentence for her 2005 conviction for smuggling marijuana onto the resort island. Her lawyer said that she could be freed in about three months due to several other reductions to her sentence were approved previously.
The decision comes a week after Australia released three young Indonesians from prison based on new evidence that they might be minors. Crew members of Indonesian boats who illegally bring asylum seekers to Australia are sent home without punishment if they are children.
Corby’s sentence reduction was part of a deal in which Australia would be more relax toward young Indonesian arrested for bringing in asylum-seeker boats, Indonesia State Secretary Sudi Silalahi said. The other reason for agreeing in reducing her sentence was because of her poor mental state, her lawyer, Iskandar Nawing said.
Corby's case has attracted attention in Australia, where many believe she is innocent. She insisted that she did not know how on earth a 9 pounds or 4.2 kilos of marijuana landed into her surfboard bag when it was searched on arrival at Denpasar Airport in 2004.