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Schapelle Corby timeline: Everything you need to know

The notorious Australian will finally return home this weekend.
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This part of the world has been fascinated with Schapelle Corby since that day in October 2004 when Bali police found 4.2kg of marijuana in her boogie board bag.

Over a decade later, Corby has been released and will finally return to Australia.

With whisperings of a Shapelle Corby movie and explosive interviews in the works, we’ve compiled a timeline to refresh your memory about the convicted drug-smuggler’s tumultuous life.

July 10, 1977: Schapelle Leigh Corby is born, the third child of Michael Corby and Rosleigh Rose. She grows up on the Queensland Gold Coast.

1979: Corby’s parents divorce and her father leaves the family home.

1991: At the age of 14, Corby tries drugs for the first time. She writes later in her autobiography My Story “I soon learnt that dope wasn’t good for me …”.

1995: At the age of 17, Schapelle takes her first trip to Bali. She stays there for six months.

Shortly after returning home she travels to Japan, where Mercedes is living. She stays there for 10 weeks.

June, 1995: At a Coles supermarket on the Gold Coast, Corby meets a Japanese tourist named Kimi Tanaka.

June 19, 1998: Corby marries Tanaka in a Japanese surfing town.

July, 2000: Corby and her husband of two years separate.

Corby returns home via Bali, where she meets her mother. They spend two weeks there.

2003: Corby’s divorce is finalised.

She enrols in a 12-month beautician’s course at TAFE, with a goal of becoming a beauty therapist. She does not complete the course.

Towards the end of the year, her father Mick is diagnosed with cancer.

October 8, 2004: At the age of 27, Corby flies from Brisbane to Bali via Sydney for a holiday. She is with her half-brother James and two friends. The trip coincides with Mercedes’ 30th birthday.

Customs officials at Denpasar airport in Bali find 4.2 kilograms of marijuana in her bodyboard bag. She is arrested.

January 28, 2005: Corby’s trial begins in Denpasar District Court.

Prosecutors tell the court that Corby admitted on the night of her arrest that the marijuana was hers and that as her bag was opened Customs officers heard her say “No! No! I have some…”. Corby counters that she voluntarily opened the bag and immediately denied the drugs were hers.

February 25, 2005: Gold Coast businessman Ron Bakir offers to help Corby.

March 3, 2005: Corby’s defence begins. Her legal team posits that the drugs were planted in her bag. They argue that this is supported by the fact that no precautions had been taken to hide the drugs.

March 24, 2005: Corby testifies. She tells the court she had no idea how the marijuana ended up in her bag.

The defence suggests that baggage handlers in an Australian airport planted the drugs as part of a smuggling network.

April 14, 2005: Corby collapses in the courtroom with sister Mercedes blaming the intense media attention.

April 28, 2005: Corby delivers a direct address to the court.

April 29, 2005: John Patrick Ford tells the court in Denpasar he overheard prisoners talking about a stash of marijuana that was lost while being smuggled by baggage handlers.

May 25, 2005: Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison says the government is looking at a prisoner exchange agreement.

May 27, 2005: The court delivers its verdict. Corby is found guilty of importing a narcotic into Indonesia. She is sentenced to 20 years in jail and fined $13,875. The verdict is broadcast live on Australian television.

May 30, 2005: Perth QCs Mark Trowell and Tom Percy are recruited to help Corby’s defence.

June 14, 2005: Corby’s Indonesian legal team file an appeal, requesting that her case be reopened and new evidence heard. Indonesian prosecutors file a separate appeal demanding she be jailed for life.

June 22, 2005: Mark Trowell QC claims that Corby’s Indonesian defence team asked for $500,000 to bribe the appeal judges. The Indonesian judges deny the claim.

June 24, 2005: Corby fires her Indonesian legal team.

June 26, 2005: Corby re-instates her team in part.

July 5, 2005: The Bali High Court rules the case should be reopened by the District Court, allowing more witnesses to give evidence.

October 13, 2005: The High Court cuts her sentence to 15 years. Prosecutors appeal against the cut.

January 19, 2006: The Supreme Court overturns the reduced sentence and reinstates her original 20-year sentence.

March 17, 2006: The bodyboard bag and drugs are destroyed on court orders. This is an indication the case is permanently closed. The judges reject a final appeal unless extraordinary evidence is presented.

June 29, 2006: Australia and Indonesia are reported to be close to signing a prisoner swap deal which would allow Australians convicted of drug offences in Indonesia to serve their sentences in Australian prisons. The deal is never finalised.

July 20, 2006: The case is reopened in Denpasar District Court but only one expert witness testifies. The Court gives the defence until August 3 to produce new witnesses.

August 3, 2006: The court refuses to grant her lawyers more time to find new witnesses and shuts down the reopened trial.

August 11, 2006: Corby’s lawyers lodge a judicial review, their last avenue to overturn her conviction. They argue the original court erred in the definition of drug importation and in excluding some witnesses.

August 25, 2006: Corby reappears before the Denpasar District Court and her lawyers submit a letter from an Australian Government official stating the CCTV cameras in the Sydney International Airport were working October 8, 2005 and could prove the drugs were planted in her bag. Footage is never presented or found.

November, 2006: Corby releases her autobiography, My Story.

January 18, 2008: Mick Corby, Schapelle’s father, dies of cancer in a Brisbane hospital.

March 28, 2008: Indonesia’s Supreme Court rejects Corby’s final appeal, exhausting her legal options for release.

May, 2008: Corby is hospitalised for depression. She remains in hospital for some months.

July 2, 2008: Corby is spotted with two guards at a nearby beauty salon.

July 8, 2008: Corby is transferred back to Kerobokan Prison.

April 4, 2012: Indonesia’s Justice and Human Rights Ministry recommends Corby’s prison sentence be slashed by 10 years on humanitarian grounds.

April 13, 2010: Corby makes a plea for clemency to president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.She asks the president to quash her conviction or cut her sentence. She claims that she is suffering from depression inside Kerobokan and that her life is at risk if she stays there.

May 15, 2012: President Yudhoyono grants clemency to Corby, granting her a five-year reduction in her sentence.

May 25, 2012: Corby becomes eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of her sentence. In addition to the five-year cut conferred by the president, Corby’s sentence has been reduced further through remissions marking Christmas and Indonesian Independence Day.

October 2, 2013: Corby’s application for parole is approved by the Bali Justice Ministry.

February 7, 2014: Corby is granted parole.

February 10, 2014: Schapelle Corby is released from prison on parole.

Between February, 2014 and May, 2017: Corby must remain in Bali on parole and report at least monthly to the Bali corrections board.

April 13, 2017: A teary Schapelle Corby, now 39, asks when she would be allowed to reenter the country for “sightseeing”. Typically, foreigners deported from Indonesia are banned from entering the country for at least six months.

May 27, 2007: Schapelle to fly home to Australia.

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