Frenchman Michael Blanc was arrested on Boxing Day 1999 at Bali airport with 3.8 kilos of hash hidden in diving canisters. His mother left her life in France to come half way across the world to fight for his release. It was a long, drawn out process but last Monday, he walked out of prison on parole after serving 14 years.
Michael Blanc and his mother
The law allowed Indonesian prisoners to be released on parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence, but it didn't apply to foreigners. Blanc's mother said it wasn't fair and somehow she managed to change their minds, although conditions are strict. He must remain in Indonesia until 21 July 2017 which is when his sentence ends, and during that time, become a model member of the community. He will live with his mother in her modest home in Jakarta.
Family compound of Wayan Widyartha and wife Mercedes
Now Schapelle Corby is being considered for parole after serving almost nine years. Her Balinese brother-in-law, Wayan Widyartha, will be her guarantor and she will live in his home with his wife Mercedes, their children and his extended family. She will occupy herself helping out in his clothing business.
After reading Schapelle's book My Story, a lot of people had no doubt she was innocent. Then along came Eamonn Duff with his book The Sins of the Father. He said her father was involved in drug trafficking and she took the rap for his drug syndicate. Schapelle lost a lot of public support after his book came out.
Whether guilty or not, Corby has paid a terrible price. She became so depressed last year, she slipped over into psychosis and told a psychiatrist she wanted to die. A recent examination by another psychiatrist said she was no longer psychotic, and currently has "moderate depression." Nevertheless, she will need to take medication for her mental health for the rest of her life.
Forever faithful sister Mercedes
Although her parole is in the pipeline, it's not a done deal and there's still a long way to go. She's had her hopes dashed so many times before, surely this time, she will be allowed to finally walk out of Kerobokan Prison into the arms of her family. She's suffered enough.