Renae Lawrence will become the first of the infamous Bali Nine drug trafficking group to be released from prison next week after spending more than 13 years behind bars.
Lawrence, 41, who was arrested in 2005 for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia is expected to walk free on November 21, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to the publication, the Australian criminal is likely to be deported back home on the same or following day after serving over a decade in prison.
“On that day she will be handed over to immigration for her deportation. As for when she will fly back to Australia, that will be up to immigration. Once we hand her over, she will no longer be our responsibility,” head of the Bali provincial correction division, Slamet Prihantoro told Fairfax Media.
Lawrence was initially arrested back in 2005 along with eight other Australians after the group attempted to smuggle more than 8 kilograms of heroin out of Indonesia. She was one of four caught at the Denpasar airport carrying 2.6kg of the drug strapped to her body. Three other members of the group were arrested at a nearby hotel in possession of about 300 grams of heroin, while another two were arrested at the airport in relation to the trafficking.
Almost a year later, Lawrence was handed a life sentence in prison, despite claiming she had been forced to carry the heroin following threats her family would be killed.
Throughout her time in prison, Lawrence’s sentence was reduced and she was transferred from the notorious Kerobokan prison, to Negara prison, and finally to Bangli prison. However, her fellow members didn’t receive the same benefits with the operation’s ring leaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed in April of 2015.
More than 13 years after her initial arrest, Lawrence is now preparing for her return to Australia. According to the ABC, it will be an emotional time for Lawrence and her family who are worried about the public attention they will receive.
Speaking to the national broadcaster, Lawrence’s father Bob, his daughter is a “nervous wreck”. “She just wants to come home and live her life in peace,” he said.
Meanwhile fellow Bali Nine members Su Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj, Matthew Norman, Scott Rush and Martin Stephens remain in prison serving life sentences. The final member of the group, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, died of cancer in June this year.