By tony wilson.
A PHOTO shown on Today Tonight last night of Schapelle and Mercedes Corby at a Balinese beach was taken in November 2004 six months before Schapelle's conviction.
I was shown the same photo by Schapelle Corby's then lawyer Lily Lubis in her office in Sanur in May 2005 during an interview with her just before the verdict in her drug case.
The only difference with the photo shown on TV was that Lily and a police officer called Gunadi were cut out of the image.
Ms Lubis showed me the photo after I asked her if she thought the people of Australia would feel she had done enough for Corby's defence. She went into a long diatribe of what she had done, how she had gone the `extra yards' and how she believed in Ms Corby's innocence. During all this, she pulled out the photo and told me that Ms Corby had been taken from the prison to be formally photographed by police and that she had told Mercedes in advance that they would have lunch.
Ms Lubis had organised for the group to go to a resort that was either closed or yet to open and Schapelle had lunch. She was quite proud of this which, I assumed, is why she she told me and showed me the photo. She also asked me not to report it as it should not have happened.In those days prisoners could get out for a day or similar, but the new Kerobokan Prison Governor Ilham Djaya has stopped most of those practices.
In November 2004, Ms Corby had only been in prison a few weeks and only Cindy Wockner and I were covering her case in any detail, so Schapelle had yet to become a household identity that she became in 2005 in both Bali and Australia. A Corby family member agreed with my version of events and said the photo was taken on November 28, 2004.
``Mercedes gave the photo to Lily because Lily was in it and we thought no more of it since then,'' said the family member.
The Corby family member said other pictures showing Schapelle with short hair were taken on Wednesday, February 28, this year.
``It is so tight because they have cut out the guards around her and on that day she was taken outside the prison to a dentist, and Australian Consulate official Brian Diamond followed the prison vehicle in his vehicle,'' said the family member.
``It is the first time Schapelle has been taken to a dentist, for a 45-minute visit with two guards, and on other times they have come into the prison.
``It's just crazy to think Schapelle is going to nightclubs and the beach, these rumours have been around Australia for ages now and we have always said that if it really happened, she would quickly be photographed by someone because her face is that well known in Bali and among Australians.''
Prison Governor Djaya told The Gold Coast Bulletin last night that there was `no way' Ms Corby was getting out of his jail to go to the beach or anywhere else.
``It cannot happen,''he said.