Australia

Bali Nine member Renae Lawrence praised by Bali prison governor

Convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence takes part in Indonesian Independence Day activities inside Balis Kerobokan jail on August 17, 2018. Source: AAP

Renae Lawrence is the only member of the Bali Nine to be released.

The Governor of Bangli Prison, in a mountainous area of eastern Bali, has praised Australian 'Bali Nine' drug smuggler Renae Lawrence for being co-operative and quiet during the years she spent there in custody.

She had made friends among other prisoners and contributed to prison life.

"It is time for her to be freed," Governor Made Suwendra said of Lawrence, the first member of the group being discharged.

He was speaking to local and foreign media ahead of her planned release and return to Australia on Wednesday, having completed a 20-year sentence which was reduced by remissions.

There was speculation the former Newcastle panel beater could be arrested at Sydney Airport over a high-speed chase in a stolen car on the Central Coast in March 2005.

Lawrence had been due to face court over the pursuit but she was arrested with 2.2kg of heroin strapped to her back and legs at Bali's airport, along with eight other Australians attempting to smuggle the drug.

But NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, indicated a deal with her lawyers was more likely than handcuffs on the tarmac.

Australian Renae Lawrence attends a Christmas celebration at Kerobokan Prison in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia on 18 December 2006.
Australian Renae Lawrence attends a Christmas celebration at Kerobokan Prison in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia on 18 December 2006.
AAP

"I can confirm there's two outstanding arrest warrants for her and from our perspective we will make a time reasonable with her legal team to bring her in to have those warrants satisfied," he told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

So-called drug-mule Lawrence was transferred to Bangli prison in 2014 following earlier incarceration at tougher prison.

She originally was kept in Bali's main prison, Kerobokan, with other Bali Nine members caught in 2005 trying to smuggle eight kilograms of heroin to Australia.

Police have asked immigration officials for permission to tomorrow transport her across the island, the prison governor said, but he was not sure of the timing schedule or whether Lawrence would be taken directly to the airport.

She would be allowed to take personal belongings, including handicrafts she had made, with her.

Asked whether some other prisoners might miss Renae Lawrence, the prison chief said that was a "private" matter for her and others.

The prison governor said he hoped Renae Lawrence would be helped to integrate back into Australian life.

At Kerobokan Prison on Tuesday, Matthew Norman, one of the remaining Bali Nine prisoners serving a life sentence, told journalists that he was keeping busy doing silverwork and other activities.

He and fellow remaining Bali Nine prisoners had to concentrate on themselves.

They were not bitter or negative, Norman said.

"She got her sentence and we got ours - we can't worry about it," he added.

October 2005: Renae Lawrence is taken back to Kerobokan Jail after her trial.
October 2005: Renae Lawrence is taken back to Kerobokan Jail after her trial.
AAP

Norman was only 18 when arrested.

He became religious behind bars, attending church services and reading the Bible.

Norman plays tennis and engages in boxing as well as teaching other prisoners English and getting involved in art classes.

His hopes, and those of the other members of the 'Bali Nine' still imprisoned, rest on at some time in the future being granted clemency on their life sentences.

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