Bali Nine’s Renae Lawrence freed after 13 years in prison for drug smuggling

Lawrence, who has served 13 years behind bars for smuggling heroin, wore dark glasses as she was guided through a media scrum and into a waiting car.

A police convoy then escorted the vehicle to Denpasar airport, where the 41-year-old will be held while she waits for the next flight to Sydney.

She will be banned from returning to Indonesia.

Earlier, Bangli prison chief Made Suwendra said Lawrence was healthy and ready to leave prison, adding: “She seems to be happy, but also a bit nervous”.

Lawrence was arrested with eight men in Bali in 2005 and found to have 2.7kg of heroin strapped to her body.

The group, which became known as the Bali Nine, were attempting to smuggle 8.2kg of heroin back into Australia.

Lawrence was originally jailed for life but this was later cut to 20 years.

She managed to get the sentence reduced further due to good behaviour and now she has become the only member of the group to walk free.

Ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed by firing squad in 2015 and a third member, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, died of cancer earlier this year.

The others remain in jail: Martin Stephens, 42; Michael Czugaj, 32; Scott Rush, 33; Matthew Norman, 32; and Si Yi Chen, 33.

Kerobokan prison governor Tonny Nainggolan told Australia’s Fairfax Media that he would recommend Norman and Chen have their life sentences reduced to a fixed term, adding that this could see them set free immediately.

“They deserve it as people,” he said.

“Their personality, their religious activities, they have organised many prison programs to help other prisoners and even prison guards.

“If approved, they will likely immediately go free because once it’s approved we will calculate remission they would’ve earn for all the past years.”

Lawrence’s past may not yet be behind her: New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller has said there are two outstanding arrest warrants for her.

He told The Australian newspaper that police will speak to her when she returns to Australia.

She is reportedly wanted over a high-speed chase involving a stolen car, an offence alleged to have been committed before she headed for Indonesia.

Indonesia has some of the world’s harshest drug laws and there are dozens of foreigners serving time in the country’s jails for these offences.

2018-11-21T10:54:51+00:00By |

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