Schapelle Corby tried to commit suicide: Indonesian official


Schapelle Corby has made what one senior official has described as a suicide attempt as moves intensify within Indonesia to revoke her parole and return her to Kerobokan prison.

During an evening meeting with Bali Justice Office officials at her family home on Monday night, Corby repeatedly blamed media intrusion for her levels of stress. During the meeting, camera crews from both Channel Seven and Channel Ten were standing on the roof of a neighbouring building and filming through a window.

The head of the corrections division of the Bali justice office, Sunar Agus, said he had visited the Corby family on Monday night with a parole officer when Schapelle had run across the room and picked up a knife.



"She took a small knife and tried to slice her wrist. She was immediately prevented; it didn't take a big effort - the family just stopped her and she gave up trying after that," Mr Sunar said.

Half an hour later she tried it again.

"I can't tell someone's intention but what I saw in front of me was that she tried to commit suicide," Mr Sunar said.

However, the morning after these events, Corby visited the parole board for her first monthly report and, according to parole officer Ketut Sukiati "her condition was fine".

Mr Sunar he said he had reported the incident to Jakarta, where Corby's fate is now in the hands of Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin.

Asked if the events would affect her parole, or the minister's decision about whether to revoke it, Mr Sunar said he could not speak for his boss.

However, he said it was clear to him that Corby was in mental distress.

"That's based on what I saw and what I felt ... when I tried to communicate it was not easy, and also from Corby's body language she did not seem stable. She repeatedly said she was stressed because the media kept following her."

He said he had raised in the meeting the possibility that her parole would be revoked because of the interview given by sister Mercedes Corby to the Seven Network's Sunday Night program.

Mercedes Corby has not responded to an email from Fairfax Media requesting comment.

Mr Amir has suggested that Corby's return to prison was a likely outcome, as he expressed open irritation with the drug smuggler and her family.

Mr Amir told Indonesian newspaper Kompas that if he revoked parole, it would largely be the fault of her family.

"If it came to that decision ... you would have to lay most of the responsibility on her family, which I believe has shown no concern for [the political pressure] we've had to face in her case," Mr Amir said.

He was the minister who granted Corby's parole last month — even though that was a politically unpopular decision - and he also has the power to revoke it.

Mr Amir has said he was waiting for a recommendation from the Bali parole board, but told newspaper Kompas that the Corby family had tested his patience by participating in the Seven Network's Sunday Night program.

The interview - in which sister Mercedes suggested the drugs in Schapelle's boogie-board bag may have come from Indonesia - has caused political outrage. It came after the ministry had banned Corby herself from doing any interview, paid or unpaid.

"May I say, I suspect the family did the interview motivated by a calculation of the profits," Mr Amir is quoted saying. "I greatly regret such an attitude, if that's what it is, while we face heavy [political] criticism within the country."

Asked about his likely decision, he said he would rely on advice from the Bali justice ministry, but that "there is a probability that her parole will be reconsidered."

The family has defended the interview on the basis that  it was the only way to stop the other media from "hounding" her sister.

If Corby's parole is revoked, she will be returned to Kerobokan prison as "humanely" as possible, according to the Bali Justice Office.

Mr Sunar said on Tuesday his organisation was awaiting a decision from the Justice Minister in Jakarta. In the meantime, he had advised the Corby family to "keep a low profile".

"But if there's no co-operation, the treatment might be a little stronger, and she would be picked up by the police."

The Corby family has quit the luxury Sentosa Seminyak villas after three weeks and returned to the Kuta compound listed as her residence on parole papers.

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