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Schapelle Corby Update Friday 10 March 2006
Thank you to everyone who has continued to send emails to us and to those who are sending a steady stream of letters to Schapelle in Bali. Your continued support and concern for Schapelle is inspiring and gives her great comfort.

Many supporters are anxious for news updates and we will do our best to keep you all informed. At times it will be difficult to share information due to the current legal strategies going on behind the scenes. But without compromising that area too much we would like to advise that Schapelle is now being assisted with international legal representation in support of her current legal team who have, and are, continuing to make appropriate representations on her behalf. It may be quiet on the public front but certainly not behind the scenes.

A number of people have asked if Schapelle would request to be transferred to Australia under a Prisoner Transfer Agreement [PTA]. At this stage, the PTA between Australia and Indonesia is estimated to be a number of years away. Prisoners who intend to apply for transfer would be expected to serve at the minimum of five years in Indonesia prior to making any such application for transfer to Australia. In accordance with the Australian Correctional procedures for prisoners serving lengthy prison terms overseas, it would be automatic that such prisoners be transferred back to a maximum security prison. Some people have suggested that Schapelle could seek an exemption to the automatic twelve month internment in maximum security but that is totally incorrect. Schapelle would not be shown any differential treatment. She would be integrated into the prison system the same as any other prisoner in Australia. Eventually, she could apply for a transfer to a minimum security prison but there are no guarantees when this would occur.

In an Australian prison, Schapelle's family would not have the daily access they currently have in Bali. In fact, they would be restricted to a single one hour visit per week. Visits cannot be pre-booked and given Schapelle's notoriety, it might be months before her own mother might get to visit with her. There is also an element of concern for Schapelle's personal safety in an Australian prison as opposed to the security in place. As harsh as the conditions are in Kerobokan Prison, the main motivation for Schapelle to remain there is the access she has to her family. When you are faced with a sentence as long as she has, you certainly don't want to face it alone. It is easy for people to judge her and say... 'she would be better off back here in Australia' but then, would she really? Not only would she be isolated in an unfamiliar prison system but she would be isolated from her family and those who are currently able to visit her daily in Bali. Schapelle would not emotionally survive a twenty year sentence without the close contact that she has currently with those who love her.

Having said that, the physical challenges Schapelle faces in Kerobokan Prison are greater than what she might face in an Australian prison. But she has chosen to endure the physical challenges so that her emotional needs might be met. Schapelle has contracted a very serious case of bacterial conjunctivitis, otherwise known as "pink eye". The Balinese say that it is spread just by looking at someone, and that it travels "on the wind". Actually, to dispel the myth, you could stare at someone all day and they would not catch the disease. This form of highly contagious eye infection is a bacterial conjunctivitis and is spread by direct or indirect contact. Visean eye drops have been provided to Schapelle by prison authorities but her condition is currently so bad that she can barely open her eyes.

Schapelle is endeavouring to reply to the thousands of letters she has received but has been difficult because there is no overhead lighting at night when she is able to write, and compounded by the fact that she can barely open her eyes because of the conjunctivitis. Schapelle has also contracted a severe case of tinea in her feet.

Schapelle is doing everything she can to adapt to her present environment and has created a reasonably safe environment inside her cell. There are no drug users, violent or ill persons in her cell and together the girls are all working to maintain good hygienic conditions. They're all hoping to recover from the "pink eye".

Many supporters have expressed concern that Schapelle is no longer being mentioned in the media. In fact, the family have decided against giving any further media interviews. Suffice to say that there are valid reasons why the family are maintaining a low profile but we cannot discuss these reasons publicly.

If there is any good news to report then it would have to be that Schapelle is staying true to her integrity and has no intention of giving up her fight for freedom. She has not lost that spirit of determination that endears her to so many. She has recently made a new friend, Stanley. He's actually Mercedes' little Pomeranian puppy of 10 weeks that she took into show Schapelle. Yes the prison authorities allowed this to occur! Schapelle took such comfort in little Stanley that Mercedes decided to let him stay overnight. He's become quite popular with the girls. The only problem now is how Mercedes is going to secure Stanley's release from Kerobokan! :-)

Schapelle Corby Case Information

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