Bali nine drug mule Renae Lawrence has spent almost 14 years in jail, but soon, she will return to Australia. Picture: Supplied
Bali nine drug mule Renae Lawrence has spent almost 14 years in jail, but soon, she will return to Australia. Picture: Supplied

Renae Lawrence hit with life travel ban

Bali Nine heroin courier Renae Lawrence will front a press conference today after she walks free from Bangli jail, according to immigration chief Agato Simamora, who also confirmed she will be banned from ever returning to Indonesia.

Lawrence is expected to speak with journalists outside the prison before she is deported to Australia later this evening.

Police raise their patrol of Bangli jail before the release of Renae Lawrence. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
Police raise their patrol of Bangli jail before the release of Renae Lawrence. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Mr Simamora said she will be handed from the custody of the jail to immigration officials who will hold a joint press conference.

They will then transport her to Bali airport for her flight back to Australia later tonight.

Mr Simamora said Lawrence's ticket and passport had now been handed to the officials.

"We will complete the paperwork (for Lawrence's release) in Bangli (jail). A letter of release, a handing over report, and letter on immigration administration action," he said.

Mr Simamora confirmed Lawrence will be given a life ban from ever returning to Indonesia.

He said she would be taken from Bangli jail to the immigration offices within Bali airport, to a detention room, where she will remain until she is escorted onto her plane home.

Asked how long she would be banned, Mr Simamora said: "A life blacklist."

 

Renae Lawrence in the kitchen of Bali’s Bangli jail where she is held. Picture: News Corp Australia
Renae Lawrence in the kitchen of Bali’s Bangli jail where she is held. Picture: News Corp Australia

He said there would be no special arrangements or VIP treatment for Lawrence.

"We do not make her special. Everything is based on the immigration consideration. We do not ask consideration from her. We ask consideration from all related institutions there. But not from her or her family. We even do not have contact with her family," Mr Simamora said.

Bangli jail governor Made Suwendra addressed the media briefly outside the prison earlier today.

"Even to the God she has already said farewell, moreover to her friends," Mr Suwendra said. He was referring to a Hindu ceremony, held in the jail's small chapel on Monday at Lawrence's request.

Her mother Beverley Waterman and brother Allan will join the 41 year old on her trip home.

 

Butan Bangli Governor Made Suwendra arrives at the jail ahead of Bali Nine heroin courier Renae Lawrence’s release. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Butan Bangli Governor Made Suwendra arrives at the jail ahead of Bali Nine heroin courier Renae Lawrence’s release. Picture: Liam Kidston.

 

Renae Lawrence is spending her final hours in Bali’s Bangli jail and will soon be back in Australia. Picture: Supplied
Renae Lawrence is spending her final hours in Bali’s Bangli jail and will soon be back in Australia. Picture: Supplied

Justice Ministry officials have requested that Lawrence be escorted by two police cars, two police motorbikes and two personnel of the Brimob paramilitary police as she travels to Bali's airport.

The request for an escort was made by ministry chief in Bali, Maryoto Sumadi, in a letter to police.

At that stage the officials had yet to be provided with Lawrence's new passport and her airline ticket to Australia.

Bangli jail governor Made Suwendra was swamped by cameras. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Bangli jail governor Made Suwendra was swamped by cameras. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

Mr Sumadi had earlier warned in the letter, seen by News Corp, that if the travel documents were not provided by today that Lawrence would be taken to Immigration detention and held their pending her flight home.

He said however that if the documents were handed over she would be taken directly from Bangli jail to the Immigration office within Bali airport and would wait there to board her flight.

But Lawrence's new Australian passport and her flight ticket has now been provided to authorities. This negates the need for her to be held in detention at an Immigration office in Denpasar.

Bali Nine heroin courier Renae Lawrence in Bangli jail. Picture: Supplied
Bali Nine heroin courier Renae Lawrence in Bangli jail. Picture: Supplied

 

Lawrence will leave behind her girlfriend, Agus Erna Wijayanti, known as Erna. Picture: Supplied
Lawrence will leave behind her girlfriend, Agus Erna Wijayanti, known as Erna. Picture: Supplied

Lawrence's 20-year sentence expired in May 2018 however she was unable to pay the $100,000 fine and opted instead to serve an extra six months behind bars.

She is the first of the Bali Nine to be freed from jail and she is flying home to an outstanding New South Wales police warrant for driving offences.

Renae Lawrence, with a fellow prisoner inside Bali’s Bangli jail. Picture: Supplide
Renae Lawrence, with a fellow prisoner inside Bali’s Bangli jail. Picture: Supplide

 

Lawrence (right), pictured with Bangli jail Governor Made Suwendra. The heroin courier will be flying home to a NSW police warrant. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro
Lawrence (right), pictured with Bangli jail Governor Made Suwendra. The heroin courier will be flying home to a NSW police warrant. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro

DUTTON: NO SYMPATHY, NO LENIENCY

 

Federal Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton speaks with media. Picture: AAP
Federal Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton speaks with media. Picture: AAP

 

Lawrence is being freed after serving 13 years and seven months of her 20-year sentence, which has been slashed by the twice-yearly remissions she has received.

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said today that he had no sympathy for Lawrence.

He rejected suggestions she should be shown leniency after serving her drug sentence.

"If you commit that offence, there is a heavy penalty to pay, and it doesn't give you credit when you get back to Australia," he told Sky News.

"If you've committed offences in our country, you need to face the justice system here."

An Australian arrest warrant alleges Lawrence was involved in a high-speed chase in a stolen car in 2005, about one month before she was arrested in Bali.

Her father told Nine she is expected to report to Gosford Police Station on the NSW Central Coast "when she gets back".

The remaining five Bali Nine members are in jails in Bali and Java, all serving life sentences with no prospect so far of release. Prisoners on life sentences do not qualify for remissions. They can however apply to the Indonesian President for a reprieve back to 20 years.

The group has applied each year but so far been unsuccessful.

Martin Stephens and Renae Lawrence wore signs marked suspect at a 2005 re-enactment of their attempted drug smuggling operation. Picture: Supplied
Martin Stephens and Renae Lawrence wore signs marked suspect at a 2005 re-enactment of their attempted drug smuggling operation. Picture: Supplied

The Bali Nine were arrested at Bali international airport and at a Kuta hotel on April 17, 2005 and all were convicted of a conspiracy to smuggle 8.2kg of heroin from Bali to Sydney.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were sentenced to death and despite their reformation behind bars failed to gain clemency. They were executed by Indonesian firing squads in April 2015.

Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, sentenced to life in jail, died of cancer earlier this year. The remaining five are all held in jails in Bali and Java, serving life sentences.

Lawrence was one of four couriers arrested at Bali airport with a total of 8.2kg of heroin strapped to their bodies.

The group was planning to catch a similar overnight flight to Australia to that which Lawrence will board tonight.

As she flies back to Australia a free woman, Lawrence leaves behind five surviving Bali Nine traffickers; Matthew Norman, Martin Stephens, Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj and Scott Rush.

Police were greeted at Bangli jail by a large media presence. Picture: Liam Kidston
Police were greeted at Bangli jail by a large media presence. Picture: Liam Kidston


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