World

Media frenzy as drug trafficker Corby is home

BRISBANE Australian Schapelle Corby battled a media storm as she returned home from Indonesia yesterday 12 years after her conviction for drug trafficking, in a dramatic end to a saga that captivated her homeland.

The beauty school dropout hit Australian headlines when she was arrested in 2004 at Bali airport aged 27 with several kilos of hashish stashed in her surfing gear, and was jailed the following year for 20 years.

Her sentence was cut due to regular remissions and after an appeal to the president.

She was released early in 2014 but was required to remain in Bali for three years under the conditions of her parole.

RELIEF

Miss Corby and her sister Mercedes concocted an elaborate plan to avoid the cameras after they touched down in the eastern city of Brisbane early yesterday morning, using multiple vehicle convoys to confuse the media when they departed the airport.

A member of her security team read out a family statement at the airport, where they expressed their "gratefulness and relief that this morning we mark Schapelle Corby's return to Australia".

"We would like to say thank you to Schapelle's supporters for all the faith, love and support they have shown over the years... Priority of focus will now be on healing and moving forward."

Miss Corby, now 39, has maintained her innocence, insisting the drugs had been planted, and received much support back home where some believed she had been set up or was the victim of a supposedly corrupt justice system. - AFP

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