Australian police drop Schapelle Corby proceeds-of-crime probe

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 March, 2014, 9:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 March, 2014, 9:16pm

Australian police yesterday dropped a proceeds-of-crime investigation into high-profile drugs trafficker Schapelle Corby, saying events in Indonesia had overtaken the probe.

Officers last month raided media firm Channel Seven amid speculation that the television network was working on a lucrative deal with Corby, 36, for her first interview since being released from prison in Bali.

The broadcaster denied any deal and, under pressure from Indonesian authorities who warned it would breach her parole conditions, it never happened.

The television channel instead aired an interview with her sister Mercedes, which included footage of Corby in the first moments back with her family.

Even this sparked outrage in Indonesia after Mercedes suggested her sister had been set up, with senior officials threatening to revoke Corby's parole.

The Australian Federal Police said their investigation had ended because Indonesia had stated that any paid interview could land her back in jail.

"In recent weeks, Indonesian authorities have clearly outlined that any such interview would be in breach of Ms Corby's parole conditions and could result in her parole being revoked," police said in a statement.

"Any possibility of an agreement has now been superseded by these additional parole conditions. This decision does not mean that the original concerns that initiated the investigation were not well founded."

Under Australia's proceeds-of-crime legislation, convicted criminals cannot benefit financially from their notoriety.

Corby was arrested in 2004 at Bali's main airport with 4.1kg of marijuana in her surf gear, and subsequently jailed for 20 years.

The end of her sentence was brought forward to 2016 for good behaviour. She was released on parole last month but must remain in Indonesia until 2017.