Australian Bali Nine drug mule released from prison after 13 years

Australian \Bali Nine\ drug mule released from prison after 13 years

Bali Nines Renae Lawrence freed after 13 years in prison for drug smuggling

Convicted drug smuggler Renae Lawrence has been released from prison in Indonesia and banned from re-entering the country.

Lawrence, 41, is expected to be on a 9.50pm fight home to Australia after spending 13 years behind bars for her involvement in a trafficking syndicate.

She was arrested at Balis main airport in April 2005 with 2.7 kilograms of heroin strapped to her body as part of a failed bid to smuggle a total of eight kilograms of the drug into Australia with a number of other mules – later dubbed the Bali Nine.

She was arrested at Balis main airport in April 2005 with 2.7 kilograms of heroin strapped to her body as part of a failed bid to smuggle a total of eight kilograms of the drug into Australia with a number of other mules – later dubbed the Bali Nine. 

Renae Lawrence (pictured) a week after her arrest in 2005 – she will fly home from Bali on Wednesday night – but has outstanding criminal offences awaiting her arrival in Australia

Lawrence will make the 90 minute journey from Bangli Prison to Denpasar Airport where she will be processed by the immigration department.

If you commit that kind of offence, there is a heavy penalty to pay, and it doesnt give you credit when you get back to Australia, he told Sky News.

Lawrence, 41, is expected to be on a 9.50pm fight home to Australia after spending 13 years behind bars for her involvement in a trafficking syndicate 

Renae Lawrence (pictured) days after her arrest in Bali on April 17, 2005 – she will released from jail before flying home on Wednesday

Peter Dutton says he has no sympathy for Lawrence and she shouldnt be shown leniency over outstanding warrants

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has declared he has no sympathy for convicted drug smuggler Renae Lawrence.

Lawrence walked out of the prison on Wednesday afternoon through a media throng into a waiting car to be taken to Denpasar airport.

One warrant alleges she was involved in a high-speed chase in a stolen car with fellow Bali Nine member Matthew Norman.

Justice department officials had minutes earlier announced the 41-year-olds release and that all processes for her release, including a health check, had been completed.

Upon her return, Lawrence is facing two arrest warrants from NSW Police, which have been outstanding since 2005.

Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence released from Indonesian jail after 13 years

We have issued a release from the prison and the prison has already conducted a health check and the result is the prisoner was healthy, a white-shirted senior official told the media outside the jail.

He said the immigration department would process Lawrence and she would be driven to the immigration detention centre at the airport before departing for Australia.

The immigration department has released a letter asking for the immediate departure of Renae Lawrence from Indonesia, the official said.

BANGLI, Indonesia: The first member of the “Bali Nine” heroin-trafficking gang to be released from prison is expected to leave jail on Wednesday after serving 13 years, in a case that caused a huge diplomatic rift between Indonesia and Australia.

Read more Lawrence was arrested at Balis main airport in April 2005 with 2.7kg of heroin strapped to her body as part of a bid to smuggle a total of eight kilograms of heroin into Australia.

The former panel beater from Newcastle in New South Wales has been held in three different Bali prisons.

The Australian Police Commissioner for the state of New South Wales, Mick Fuller, told The Australian newspaper there were two outstanding arrest warrants for Lawrence and that they will speak to her when she returns to the country.

The most recent was Bangli prison, in mountainous eastern Bali, where local and foreign media crews have gathered.

High-profile cases like that of Australian Schapelle Corby, who spent more than nine years behind bars for smuggling marijuana into Bali, have stoked concern that Indonesia is becoming a destination for trafficked drugs.

Prison governor Made Suwendra has described Lawrence as a co-operative and quiet inmate who made friends with other prisoners and contributed to communal life in the penal institution, which is next to rice fields.

Reports in Australian media said Lawrence could face arrest once she is back home over a high-speed chase involving a stolen vehicle dating back to just before she was arrested in Indonesia.

Lawrence is being allowed to take personal possessions, and handicrafts she made inside Bangli, back to Australia.

Some critics have lashed out at the Australian police for tipping off their Indonesian counterparts about the gang and putting its members at risk of execution in Indonesia.

Her mother, Bev Waterman, and stepbrother Allan Waterman are already in Bali and will accompany her on the flight home.

It was not immediately clear what time she would be released from Balis Bangli prison, but officials said she may be freed around midday (11am Thailand time).

A local doctor who visits Bangli prison is reported to have prescribed anti-depressants to help Lawrence cope with anxiety ahead of her long-awaited chance for a new start in life.

Another member, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, died in prison in June from stomach cancer, while the remaining five are currently serving life sentences.

When she returns, Lawrence is facing two arrest warrants from NSW police that have been outstanding since 2005.

But the NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, has indicated a deal with her lawyers was more likely than handcuffs on the tarmac.

On Wednesday the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, said he had no sympathy for Lawrence and rejected suggestions she should be shown leniency.

If you commit that offence, there is a heavy penalty to pay, and it doesnt give you credit when you get back to Australia, he told Sky News.

Five other Bali Nine members remain imprisoned in Bali, one died from cancer in May and the other two, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed by firing squad in 2015.

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