Renae Lawrence Begins Countdown Until Release
KFC -- that’s how convicted drug smuggler Renae Lawrence marked a milestone in her countdown to freedom. Seven days to go.
Two family friends brought a bag full of the colonel’s finest to the Bangli Prison, shortly after immigration officials arrived for a final meeting with the 41-year-old.
This time next week she’ll be in their custody and their whole job is to make sure she boards a flight home to Australia.
Bangli Prison is far from the tourist crowds of Kuta -- nearly a two hour drive into the mountains. Thanks to its remote location (and the Lawrence family’s decision to steer clear of media), it’s unlikely her release next week will resemble the circus that was Schapelle Corby‘s trip home.
However there is some local media interest. The Board of Corrections is planning to hold a press conference early next week.
It’s more than 13 years since the then-27-year-old was arrested with more than 2.6 kilograms of heroin strapped to her body.
Originally sentenced to life in prison, she successfully appealed and was instead ordered to serve 20 years. Since then she has received numerous sentence reductions for good behaviour.
She will be the first (and at this stage only) member of the Bali Nine to taste freedom.
In 2015 the two convicted leaders of the smuggling operation, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed by firing squad.
Five other members are serving life sentences while another, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, died of stomach cancer in a Balinese jail earlier this year.
READ MORE: Bali Nine Member Dies In Jakarta Hospital
Bangli Prison Chief I Made Suwendra isn’t expecting any problems with next week’s release, telling 10 News First Lawrence is “very good”.
Indonesian Immigration officials are working through the finer details of the transfer.
A meeting is scheduled at the Australian Consulate tomorrow, while the two officers who visited Lawrence this morning handed over paperwork and explained the deportation process.
“She is very excited to be heading home,” one officer said, explaining Lawrence speaks the local language Bahasa very well.
“She’s always smiling.”
The officer also indicated she has “apologised to the Indonesian Government” for her crime.
Lawrence has refused requests for an interview. It’s unclear what she’ll do when she returns to northern New South Wales. Her father Bob says it will be a big adjustment.
One thing that will remain pretty much the same back home is the KFC.
The dirty bird doesn’t change that much.