Update: Convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby has been granted parole after serving nine years in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison.
Indonesia’s Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin said the Australian would get parole after she was jailed for smuggling 4.2 kilograms of cannabis into the country.
Mr Syamsuddin made a confusing announcement but later released a statement.
The justice ministry’s press release read: “On 30 January 2014, the Parole Board Team in the Corrections Directorate General heard 1798 prisoners for participation in the parole program.
“One of the prisoners recommended to undergo that program is Schapelle Leigh Corby, a prisoner of Australian citizenship.
“Corby has been approved to receive parole because (she) has fulfilled the substantive and administrative requirements as set by the Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation Number 21 Year 2013 on the Requirements and Procedure for having Remission, Assimilation, Family Visit Days Off, Parole, Days Off Prior to Release and Limited Days Off.”
The Minister said Corby was among 1291 parole requests he had completed of the 1700 he had before him.
The justice ministry said, while serving parole, Corby must report to Denpasar Corrections Socialisation Board and follow a training program set by the board.
Among other conditions, her parole will be revoked if she breaks the law, “creates unease in society” or does not report a change of address.
The news was slow to filter through to reporters and onlookers outside Kerobokan jail, where there was a seasonal downpour of rain at the time.
The head of Kerobokan jail, Farid Junaedi, says it's "impossible" that Corby will be released today.
Outside the jail, Mr Junaedi said Corby would be out “soon”.
Mr Junaedi said the timing of her release depended on paperwork, which he hoped would be processed quickly.
“If they are signing it now, then we cannot hold it any longer,“ he said.
“Holding for one minute or one second, it matters for the inmates.”
Mr Syamsuddin was yesterday petitioned by Indonesian MPs not to be lenient in the case of Corby, who was convicted with smuggling 4.2 kilograms of cannabis into Bali.
A prison guard said that Corby was upbeat on Friday, and joking about staying with the guard when she got parole.
Corby apparently joked that a helicopter was coming to pick her up, and that she would wear a black veil.
Earlier, her sister Mercedes was swamped by the large media pack waiting outside the prison.
Leaving after a visit with her husband Wayan Widyartha, Mercedes was at first reluctant to speak to reporters, but eventually gave in when it became clear it was the only way she could get through the jostling crowd to her motorbike.
"Can you please give us some privacy," she pleaded.
"We don't know yet."
Wayan, speaking in Indonesian, told reporters the family was reluctant to speak ahead of the decision.
"We don't know when she will be released. We keep on praying and, like all of you, hoping for the best," he said.
Other visitors to the jail on Friday included Australian consulate staff and the postman, who was also mobbed by the media.
Corby will live with Mercedes and Wayan in Kuta while on parole.
The former Gold Coast beauty student has always maintained her innocence.