Schapelle Corby first made headlines in October 2004.
The Queensland woman was caught by customs officials at Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai Airport, arriving from Australia with more than four kilograms of cannabis wrapped in plastic in her bodyboard bag.
Corby will today depart Bali and arrive back in Australia.
The then-27-year-old immediately denied the drugs were hers but she was arrested on the spot.
“I just saw a plastic and thought ‘This isn’t supposed to be here. I didn’t put it there’,” Corby said.
Despite her pleas of innocence, Corby was charged with importing cannabis, imprisoned and ordered to stand trial.
“I shouldn’t be here. So I’m just trying to be strong and I’m just lucky that I’ve got really good family and friends to help me get through,” Corby told reporters at the time.
The trial began in January 2005 and Corby’s every move to and from her cell to the Denpasar District Court was followed by a massive media pack.
Australia’s national fixation
Back in Australia, the drama of Corby’s saga spawned a huge following.
Every detail of the case was reported in the daily media. And every Australian seemed to have an opinion on Corby’s guilt or innocence.
Her defence team successfully sought private meetings with the Foreign Minister.
Even the Australian prime minister was asked by reporters what the government would do to advocate for Corby.
“We will do everything that we are properly and reasonably asked to do to see that any relevant evidence is presented,” then-prime minister John Howard said.
Sister Mercedes Corby — who was based in Bali with her husband and children — believed her younger sibling would be found not guilty.