Schapelle Corby Spotted with Prison Romance Ben Panangian in Kuta
By Anne Lu | May 19, 2014 10:18 AM EST
Schapelle Corby has rekindled her romance with her Indonesian boyfriend, a new report claims. The Australian convict was spotted getting affectionate with Ben Panangian, whom she met in jail, in Kuta, Indonesia.
Australian Schapelle Corby looks on during her defence plea in a Denpasar courtroom in Bali in this April 28, 2005 file photo. Indonesia granted early parole on February 7, 2014 to convicted Australian drug trafficker Corby despite calls from some MPs for the high profile prisoner to serve out her full term. Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005 for trying to smuggle 4kg of marijuana into Bali. REUTERS/Bagus Othman/Files
According to news.com.au, the couple often hang out in her family’s surfboard and swimwear shop, looking “harmonious” together.
The Board Room is her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha’s shop in Central Kuta. Corby was said to be overlooking the renovation of the shop. She also appears to be helping manage it, busying herself in recent weeks with sourcing products for selling, such as surfboards and swimwears.
Corby and Panangian, a top stand-up paddler, met when they were both prisoners in Bali’s Kerobokan Jail. Panangian, a native of North Sumatra, was serving time on minor drug offences, while Corby was there for drug smuggling. Panangian was later transferred to another jail before he was released, though they remain close.
News Corp Australia reported that they have been away on a short trip together after both have been released from jail.
Corby, who is out on parole since February 10, has been trying to escape the media since her release. In March, a parole official claimed that Corby was “unstable mentally,” and had tried to kill herself twice when he visited her in Mercedes’ home.
Meanwhile, the senate concludes that the Australian Federal Police made serious errors when it raided Seven West Media over a planned tell-all interview with Corby.
Seven Network sought a deal with the controversial convict after her release from prison, with reports, though disputed, claiming that it was planning to pay up to $2 million for the exclusive interview.
Although it isn’t illegal for the network to pay for a story, legislation prohibits people convicted of a crime to benefit from their notoriety. AFP called on Seven West to produce documents regarding its supposed financial deal with Corby.
AFP didn’t believe Seven was cooperative enough; therefore it has produced search warrants and took 30 armed officers to raid its five offices.
The senate committee report that was released on Thursday said that AFP committed serious errors in raiding Seven, and has caused unnecessary damage to the network’s reputation,
Committee member Nick Xenophon even accused AFP of abusing and misusing its powers, as well as wasting taxpayers’ fund. He claimed that the raids cost taxpayers over $1 million.
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