Convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby has described her Christmas as an “unbearable” time, yet she hopes to return to Australia soon under a prisoner exchange deal, according to exclusive diary extracts published in a recent edition of New Idea.
Corby is currently serving a 20-year sentence in Indonesia’s Kerobokan prison for smuggling 4.1 kilograms of cannabis into Bali.
The 29-year-old Queenslander, who is due for release in 2024, has always maintained her innocence.
In the article for New Idea, published earlier this week, Corby expresses grief over her first Christmas alone. “I may wear make-up and I may look OK, but I’m not OK,” she says in reference to images frequently seen of her and the conditions of her incarceration.
“The pain some days, especially around Christmas, is unbearable.”
Just before Christmas, Corby and fellow Australian inmate Renae Lawrence had their sentences reduced by one month for good behaviour.
Corby said that, contrary to some media reports, she had not rejected a transfer back to Australia. Authorities are negotiating with Indonesia on a prisoner transfer deal that is expected to be signed this year.
“I may come back on the prisoner transfer deal, but I want to see all the details before I make any decision,” she told New Idea.
“People say I’ve already refused it. It’s not true. The governments haven’t even agreed on the treaty yet.”
Corby said she had been touched by the sales of her autobiography, My Story, which has rocketed to the top of the Australian bestseller list.
“It’s been emotional to have my book, My Story, released and go to No. 1,” she said. The former shop assistant and beauty student was convicted and sentenced in Bali in May 2005.
In October 2004, she was apprehended by Indonesian customs agents at Ngurah Rai Airport on her arrival in Bali and found to have 4.1 kilograms of cannabis in her unlocked bodyboard bag.
She has pleaded her innocence saying she had become an unwitting drug courier for what was supposed to have been an interstate shipment of drugs between Brisbane and Sydney. Her jailing sparked outrage in Australia, with more than 100,000 people signing a petition calling for her release.