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Tuesday, 4 March 2014 | MYT 3:19 PM

Indonesia threatens to revoke drug mule Corby's parole

Mercedes Corby speaks to the press after visiting her sister Schapelle at Kerobokan jail in Denpasar on Indonesia's Bali island on February 7, 2014

Mercedes Corby speaks to the press after visiting her sister Schapelle at Kerobokan jail in Denpasar on Indonesia's Bali island on February 7, 2014

Denpasar (Indonesia) (AFP) - Indonesia threatened to revoke parole for convicted Australian drug mule Schapelle Corby on Tuesday, warning her to "keep a lower profile" after a documentary about her release angered authorities.

Corby, 36, whose case has been closely followed in Australia since her 2004 arrest in Bali, was freed on parole last month from a prison on the Indonesian resort island.

But a documentary broadcast Sunday by Australia's Channel Seven, which featured an interview with Corby's sister Mercedes, brought a threat from Indonesia's justice minister.

"There is a big possibility (that Corby's parole) will be reconsidered," Amir Syamsuddin was quoted by Indonesian daily Kompas as saying.

Syamsuddin said he was awaiting a report from provincial-level justice officials in Bali, where Corby is living. She must remain in Indonesia until 2017 as a parole condition.

Officials in Bali have summoned Corby's family to demand an explanation over the documentary, and warned Tuesday against further contact with the media.

"I suggest Corby keep a lower profile," Sunar Agus, a top prison official in Bali, told AFP, adding that officials were prepared to "use force" to return her to prison if parole was revoked.

The media exposure is being interpreted as an affront in Indonesia, where convicted law-breakers are expected to exhibit remorse.

Officials also have raised suggestions that Corby may be profiting from the exposure, amid speculation of a financial deal with Channel Seven, which has denied the rumours.

In its midday news report on Tuesday, Indonesia's widely-watched Metro TV branded the situation a "scandal".

The documentary included video of Corby's first moments back with her family after her parole.

Mercedes Corby also told Channel Seven her sister was "broken" by her time in jail, and described having to bathe and hand-feed her.

Syamsuddin said he "deeply regrets" the Channel Seven programme, saying he suspected the family did it for financial gain.

"Just to defend this one person, Corby, I experienced a lot of pressure, and there have been all sorts of issues. They must be understanding," Syamsuddin was quoted saying, referring to Corby's family.

Corby was arrested in Bali in 2004 when airport customs officials found 4.1 kilogrammes (nine pounds) of marijuana stashed in her surfing gear.

She was convicted the following year and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

She insists on her innocence. Mercedes Corby told Channel Seven the drugs "could have been from Indonesia", suggesting she had been set up.

The end of Corby's sentence was brought forward to 2016, and she was paroled early on condition of remaining in Indonesia until 2017.

The jail term was shortened due to good behaviour and after Indonesian President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono cut five years off in response to appeals for clemency.

Corby's well-documented battle with mental illness in prison has generated sympathy in Australia.

But her early release drew protests from Indonesian lawmakers and an anti-drugs group, which said it compromised the country tough anti-narcotics stance.

A member of an Indonesian parliament commission that handles legal affairs has responded furiously to the documentary, Indonesia's Tempo news website said.

"The government must be firm. Just revoke her parole," the commission's vice chair, Tjatur Sapto Edykata, was quoted saying in parliament.


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