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Thursday March 6, 2014 MYT 10:13:00 AM
Thursday March 6, 2014 MYT 12:45:31 PM
SYDNEY: The sister of Australian drug mule Schapelle Corby on Thursday apologised to Indonesia "from the bottom of my heart" for an interview that sparked calls for her sibling to be thrown back in jail.
Australia's Channel Seven aired a documentary last Sunday in which Mercedes Corby suggested her sister had been set up, claiming the drugs she was caught with "could have been from Indonesia".
It included footage of Schapelle Corby as she was whisked from jail in a van after her release on parole last month, and showed candid video of the first moments back with her family.
The documentary angered Indonesian authorities, who suggested Corby was seeking to profit from her crime. There has been unconfirmed speculation of a lucrative deal with Channel Seven, which the broadcaster has denied.
Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin, under significant domestic pressure, warned of a "big possibility" that Corby's parole could be revoked.
"From the bottom of my heart I am very sorry to the people of Indonesia if my interview on Australian TV caused unease," Mercedes Corby said in statement sent to News Corporation.
"I apologise if my words were disrespectful to Indonesia. I did not intend any disrespect.
"Our family are happy and grateful that Schapelle is free on parole. We thank the Indonesian government," she added.
Corby was arrested in 2004 at Bali's main airport with 4.1 kilograms (nine pounds) of marijuana in her surf gear, and subsequently jailed
She has always proclaimed her innocence. The saga has riveted Australians and generated significant sympathy in her home country, where her plight has been given blanket coverage.
When an Indonesian minister visited to warn that her parole was in peril on Tuesday, he said Corby brandished a knife and threatened to kill herself, although her family have since denied it was a serious suicide bid.
Corby was diagnosed with depression and psychosis during her time in prison, and her brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha told Australian media that she was stressed and struggling mentally.
"She is stressed now as she can't go out because many journalists are pursuing her," he was quoted as saying by the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
"I hope all media can please let us get comfortable... so that the parole can be carried out successfully until 2017."
Corby was jailed for 20 years, but the end of her sentence was brought forward to 2016 for good behaviour. She must remain in Indonesia until 2017 as a parole condition. -AFP
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