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July 23, 2017

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Australian trafficker Corby released from prison in Bali

KEROBOKAN, Indonesia - Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby, her face veiled against a horde of press photographers, was hustled out of prison Monday to start the next chapter of her troubled life after more than nine years behind bars in Bali.

The 36-year-old, who is now out on parole, covered her face with a scarf and hat as she was ushered into a minibus waiting outside Kerobokan jail on the resort island, as camera crews and photographers fought to get a shot of her.

Corby, whose case has drawn huge fascination in Australia since she was caught entering Bali in 2004 with marijuana stashed in her surfing gear, sped off to complete final administrative steps for her release, with journalists giving chase.

After visiting government officials who will oversee her parole in Indonesia -- where she must remain until 2017 -- she was whisked away by a black SUV to a luxury resort and spa in the popular Seminyak district.

A bidding war has heated up in recent days for her first post-jail interview and a second black car containing a TV crew raced into the resort after Corby, while the rest of the following media pack were barred from entering.

As expected the former beauty school student, whose proclamations of innocence and battle with depression in prison drew great sympathy in Australia, did not comment but one official said she seemed upset.

"We asked her how she was. She cried and said she was still feeling traumatised due to all the journalists," said Agung Bagus Kusimantara, from the Bali prosecutors' office.

The media have been camped outside Kerobokan jail for the past week in anticipation of her release, with one Australian television network alone having reportedly dispatched 17 staff.

In Australia her release dominated TV networks on Monday and sparked celebrations at the home of her mother, Rosleigh Rose, in Loganlea, in the northeastern state of Queensland.

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