Australian Schapelle Corby, 36, is set free from prison in Bali, Indonesia
She was convicted in 2005 for smuggling 9 pounds of marijuana
Corby and her lawyers maintain she was the victim of a setup
Australian woman Schapelle Corby has walked out of a prison in Bali, Indonesia, after being convicted almost nine years ago of drug smuggling.
The 36-year-old was surrounded by a swarm of cameras and Australian network reporters to see her released on bail in a case that supporters say was a setup.
Covered in a hat and rushed into a waiting bus by security forces, she will be taken to a parole office for further processing.
Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin said Friday that Corby had been granted parole. He said Corby’s parole review was one of more than 1,000 that had been completed.
Corby, 36, was convicted in May 2005 for smuggling 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms) of marijuana in a bag while arriving at Bali’s Denpasar International Airport the previous October.
She has always maintained her innocence. Her lawyers argued the drugs were planted, possibly by airport employees involved in trafficking.
But the court found her guilty and sentenced her to 20 years in prison.
The punishment fueled anger in Australia, where many people said they felt Corby had been set up.
After exhausting the appeals process, Corby applied for clemency. A medical exam diagnosed her as suffering from acute depression with psychotic symptoms.
In 2012, Indonesia reduced her sentence by five years, laying the foundation for her parole application.
Corby appears unlikely to return to Australia anytime soon, though. Australian media have reported that she will have to remain in Bali on parole until 2017.
Some Indonesians have accused the authorities of giving Corby’s case special attention. But the justice ministry says she’s being treated the same way as other convicts in Indonesia.